I once took a class in black and white photography at a local art school, our first assignment being to take interesting photos to develop in the school photo lab. I spent happy hours photographing the Rideau Canal locks in Ottawa, and the lovely sculptural art at a historic cemetery. I later developed my camera film in the lab, which had very basic equipment, using my own hand to control the light shining through my film negatives onto the photographic paper. It was fascinating to watch the positive images appear on the paper in the vat of developing liquid, the walls and gate of the Canal, the angels and foliage of the grave stones.
The revelation of the lovely images as I watched, in the red lit photo lab, makes me think of the revealing of God’s glory. “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us….For in this hope we were saved. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.” (Romans 8:18, 24 ESV) The apostle Paul suffered a lot more than many of us will in this life, from persecution to shipwreck, to imprisonment and eventually execution. Yet, he still considered the future glory in heaven would always outweigh any suffering and privation he experienced in life. The amazing thing about God’s glory is that it will not only be revealed to us in heaven, but it is revealed to us now in salvation, as we accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.
The photos I planned and composed for my black and white film course were taken in the hope the developed photos would be interesting and beautiful. I was willing to be patient during the developing process, to marvel at the photo paper pegged to the drying lines in the photo lab. So too, with perseverance and faith we live our lives day by day, sunshine and shadow, victories and struggles, knowing that by God’s grace and salvation, we will see the glory of heaven, and meet Him face to face at last.
Prayer: The angel will sound, the shout of His coming, And the sleeping shall rise, from their slumbering place, And those who remain shall be changed in a moment. And we shall behold Him, then face to face. (Sandy Patty, We Shall Behold Him, 1981). O Lord, we look forward to that Day when we meet You in glory. Amen.