Reflections

22 Aug

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There are many things that pop into my mind and maybe yours too when we see the word “reflections.” There are different ways in which we can digest the strength of what that word means, either for good or for bad. It’s power lies in the fact that it encompasses something, or some things or maybe even many things that have already gone before us and as we look back to contemplate the caliber of its value, if any, that we can assign to it. These memories may be stored as fragments or maybe even whole thoughts, moments in life already lived and loved, or maybe even just lived and regretted.

I find myself looking in the mirror lately with a little more serious intent and as I see my reflection staring back me, it is to a deeper level that I strain to see. I have noticed that there are different types of mirrors, one that makes you look fabulous while magically hiding all those things we may wish didn’t show themselves so boldly in our countenance, and then there are those other mirrors…you know the ones that you may walk by in another room with different lighting or at the store and it unceremoniously shatters all the “goodness” that you felt earlier about yourself and in that moment it suddenly has the power to make you feel awkwardly uncomfortable and open to the judgements of others.

I find that life is like that with times that are seemingly smooth and without too many worries, and then without warning it turns into a storm and we hope (and hopefully pray) that it won’t be too hard and that the level of pain is somehow kept within bearable parameters. We may even hope in these times, as we reflect inwardly, that it isn’t going to mar us permanently or keep us in that place where we feel so defeated, wishing that God would just send an easy answer already.

So many times I have agonized through these tough places, and I start feeling lost like maybe Yeshua cannot see my heartache and He cannot see my pain and I begin to feel like I must do something to try and gain His ear for my troubles. As I go to the Word, I am reminded of His healing truth in Psalm 10:17 You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry. It has been a slow realization for me as I pass through these tight spots in my life, how hard Satan truly works to bring me into a mindset of failure…one of utter defeat. We are reminded of this in 1 Peter 5:8 (ESV) Be sober-minded; be watchful your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

Each time I go back to God’s word my soul finds restoration, and the crooked paths of thinking that weigh me down are made straight once again and I find there is less space left in my thoughts when I continually fill my mind with what God says, and so I fight to instill this discipline of reading the Word of God every day. I love the encouragement of Psalm 119:169 May my cry come before you, LORD; give me understanding according to your word.

When we read about Joseph and how his own brothers sold him into slavery because they were jealous of his close relationship with their father, it seems as though any chances of his life being blessed would certainly have been demolished under his circumstances. But God had a good plan as He always does for those who serve Him, and he took Joseph’s “bruises” and turned them into something glorious as Joseph’s life was transformed and he went from being a slave to Pharaoh’s 2nd in command. Despite all of Joseph’s pain, he still receives his brothers back into relationship giving God all the glory He is due. This is what he says in response to his brothers when they are in the process of restoring their relationship with each other, Genesis 50:20 But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good….”

When life gets too dark and complicated to see clearly, we can look at all the stories we each have, and like Joseph, we can encourage each other as we share all the ways that our Messiah transforms our lives, in the little things and in the bigs things and certainly all along the way as He works His perfecting power in our lives. It says it perfectly in Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

I am in a place right now where I am trying to grasp how God in His great love for us allows us to be sifted, so that His life, and His love and His glory may rest on us and in us in greater and greater ways. In shame I have been wanting to look at my reflection in a mirror that hides all the bruises that come with living this life, and God is showing me how I am missing out on the very purpose of what He brings me through. First, it is always to be brought into the greater likeness of our Messiah, Christ the Lord, and then to be a living testimony, a living reflection of Christ for others to see His continual redemptive power in my life as I learn to keep falling back into those arms that say, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you” Deuteronomy 31:8.

I think that being bold for the Lord isn’t always about telling someone else what He can do for them, but letting others see the essence of God’s faithfulness in our own lives at their lowest points. It is in those stories that God gets glorified and my brothers and sisters get strengthened.

We are reminded of this in Luke 22:31-32 “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”

Yeshua is the “I can” of our “I cannots.” I hope this encourages us to come together and reflect His glory in our lives to each other, that we as a body of believers are brought into unity and deeper love for one another.

1 Peter 3:8 Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.

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