01 Mar REFLECTION – An opportunity to see God’s heart toward us and examine our heart toward Him
Over the past few years, reflection has become one of the most impactful forms of worship in my life. Shockingly, it’s not because I’m reflecting on how many amazing PB&J sandwiches I’ve made, or on how many diapers I’ve changed with one hand while doing the Itsy Bitsy Spider with the other hand just to keep my baby from screaming at me and kicking me in the face. I mean, yes, obviously those things are AMAZING, and I’m probably the best mom in Dallas – but, no. What I’m talking about here is reflecting on some things that have nothing to do with me, and everything to do with a God Who loves me and Who is constantly working miracles in my life.
Psalm 9:1 says, “I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart; I will recount all of your wonderful deeds.” From big, huge things like turning an affair into the best thing that ever happened to my marriage; to smaller things like using my anger toward my children to teach our whole family countless lessons about forgiveness and grace. My God never stops showing me how good He is and how involved He is in the details of my life. I never want to stop taking time to reflect. Sometimes it looks like me sitting down in a coffee shop recording His most recent miracles in my journal; yet sometimes it’s having a conversation with my husband or a good friend, telling stories about all the things He’s done lately. Reflecting never fails to draw me closer to Him and remind me that I follow a trustworthy, faithful God.
Reflection also allows us to examine ourselves and make changes in the way we are living in order to follow Christ more closely. Proverbs 27:19 says, “As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart.” Just as the reflection in the water will show us a picture of ourselves, the pieces of our lives such as our relationships, how we spend our money, and the way we use our time, will allow us to see a pretty accurate portrayal of the condition of our hearts. And we must guard our hearts because, as Proverbs 4:23 says, our hearts determine the course of our lives. We need to use the discipline of reflection to keep an eye on the condition of our heart and to keep pointing ourselves back to Jesus.
In 1 Corinthians 11, Paul recounts how Jesus told His disciples to eat and drink in remembrance of Him, but in verses 28-29 Paul says, “Let a person examine himself, then, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment on himself.” When given an opportunity to reflect on what God has done, He then commands us to take that opportunity and examine ourselves as well. To partake in reflection, only to go right back out and do whatever we were doing beforehand, is sinful. However, if our reflection leads us to repentance, we’re on the right track!
Let’s be clear here, I’m not saying that all of the things I’ve reflected on felt good when I was going through them…um no, absolutely not! But PATIENCE, my friends! I know, I know… sometimes it feels like we have no more patience to give. We are patiently waiting for that promotion that was promised to us months ago, and we are patient when our child takes no less than 500 minutes to put their shoes on – patience is hard. I agree. But if we’re not patient with the Lord before we jump to conclusions that His plan is not right, simply because it’s not the plan we envisioned, we are shortchanging ourselves! In John 13, Jesus knows He is about to leave His disciples to be with God in Heaven. As He begins to wash their feet, some of the disciples doubt that this is what He should do. In verse 7 He says, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” Isn’t this the story of our lives?! The disciples don’t realize at the time that He is about to depart from them and that He wants to bless them and teach them a lesson about blessing others. So many times in our own lives, this is exactly what’s going on. Something is happening that maybe doesn’t feel right or comfortable, but we just haven’t found out yet that God is teaching us something that will change us forever. We must be patient and continue reflecting, so that we don’t miss these amazing gifts our God is trying to give us!
Here are some questions to help you take some time to reflect today:
1. Think back over the past month, where and how have you seen God’s fingerprints in your life?
2. When you consider the ways in which God has provided, redeemed, rescued, or sustained you, how does this draw you closer to Him? What aspects of His character stand out the most?
3. What are some practical steps you can take that would allow you to make reflection a consistent discipline in your life? (ie: journaling, telling a friend, blogging, etc…and check out our brand new shop for some more fun ideas!)
*More scripture to reflect on: