OF GRAINY PICTURES AND IMPERFECT LIVES (A REFLECTION)

One evening, a week or thereabouts ago, I decided to take some selfies. It was late in the evening and power was out, but I decided to take the pix anyway. Naturally, they turned out to be grainy. But I kept them and the whole episode got me thinking: Why do we often wait for circumstances to be perfect before we do what we’re longing or we’re supposed to do? Why do we think our lives need to be perfect before we can be happy and count ourselves accomplished?

Yeah, so what if the pictures turn out to be a little grainy? What if the pay rise you’ve been hoping for still gets delayed? What if your kids don’t take the first position in class always? What if it rains for a while on your crusade night? What if, what if …? Believe me, there are always going to be “What ifs”, lots of them. But don’t let them steal your joy. Don’t let them stop you from doing what your heart is asking you to do. Don’t let them distract you from appreciating the things that God is doing in your life now, imperfect as it is.

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‘Cause the truth is, grainy pictures are also fine. They have their own kind of beauty. It’s not like the beauty of those taken in brighter times but they do have something, something that distinguishes them from the sharper pictures taken in broad daylight or with some beaming, artificial light. It’s like the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 15:40-41:

“There are also celestial bodies and terrestrial bodies; but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for one star differs from another star in glory.” (NKJV)

So if the time you’re in is late evening and you feel like it, take those grainy pictures and save them. When the light returns, take the sharper ones and save them too. Side by side, they will give you a more complete view than if you had one type alone. And then when occasion demands, you can help others see the beauty in all. I believe you catch my drift. But if not, the following scriptures will help.

“When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this: God has made the one as well as the other.” – Ecclesiastes 7:14 (NIV)

“He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” 2 Corinthians 1:4 (NLT)


A perfect example of someone who did what was needed in spite of the odds was the apostle Paul. He took the gospel wherever the Spirit led him irrespective of the danger. He wrote most of the epistles from his prison cell. He never allowed negative situations to deter him. One of his statements we love to quote reflects this:

“… I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation … I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” Phillipians 4:12&13 (NIV)

Remember, you need to be saved to make all this work for it is those who have the right to be called children of God because they have believed in and accepted Jesus as their Lord and Saviour that He endues with strength from on high. The promise that all things work together for good is meant for them. (John 1:12, Romans 8:28)

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So wherever you are now – valley or mountaintop – rejoice and make the most of it. If you’re in a negative situation, that may turn around at any moment. But in the meantime, find out what God requires of you and be about it with all that He’s put inside you. Don’t wait for all the pain, the hardship, the loneliness or whatever else to disappear before you start singing those melodies or writing and teaching those Bible lessons you are receiving, before you start reaching out to the needy with the little that you have.

Nothing is perfect on this side of heaven but we must do what we can as the Spirit leads and strengthens us. And we will continue to rejoice in our Maker who makes all things beautiful in His time. Amen in Jesus’ name.
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I am a university lecturer. I teach Mass Communication, mostly writing courses like Feature and Interpretative Writing, Magazine Article Writing and News Writing, and let’s just say I’ve been doing this for a long time. As you have probably guessed, I am a born-again Christian.
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