"Be right there! I'm just brushing my teeth!" you call out over the noise of running tap water. As you raise your head, the guy in the mirror gazes intently back, examining his own face with a critical eye. Watering down a stray hair and wiping away a smidgen of toothpaste, he grins nonchalantly at you and flippantly declares that he is ready to conquer the world. Imagine the shock of one day hearing him say these words: "Wait! Your face looks fine, but your spirit is a wreck!"
As we daily groom the face in the bathroom mirror, God's watches to see what effort we will make to allow Him to cleanse and wash away the dirt of the world from the inner man. Tomorrow, when you announce to the guy in the mirror that you are properly groomed, remember that God can see underneath your "put-together fašade." There's not a cake of soap in the world that can wash away the filth of sin. So, go ahead...confess your faults to the One who sees it all...and...forgives it all.
But the Lord said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." (I Samuel 16:7 NIV)
Gulping and sloshing the contents of your orange juice, you race for the door. Oops! Forget something? "Hey, mom! Could you grab my backpack from the desk and meet me at the car?" Just great! Of all days to have to scrape ice, you might know! Where's a male parental unit when you need one? Finally, you throw yourself into the driver's seat and turn the ignition. Don't forget to adjust those side mirrors! Uh, oh! You shouldn't have looked girlfriend! Those eyes starring back at you look positively fried! Okay. So...it's not too late to redeem the time. God can still speak into your heart and bring His peace into your frazzled morning. Start, right now, by praying, "Father, forgive me for not starting my day off with you. How about if I get out of the driver's seat and let you take over...the controls of my life, that is!" You grin...jam it into gear...and merge onto the freeway.
Be careful then, then, how you live-not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is. (Ephesians 5:15-17 NIV).
Worn Out Reflections
How many times had we laughed at that photo of my mom? There she was; her elbows propped up against the bedroom dresser, hands in her face. She looked like a spook from outer space with those enormous, pink, spongy, curlers wound all through her graying hair. I was a typical teen, having a good laugh at my mom's expense, the day I snuck up on her and snapped that picture. Now as a middle-aged mother of a sixteen-year-old, I see things quite differently. On the day I took that picture, my mother's face was etched with fatigue and the sparkle that I was used to seeing; well, it wasn't there. She must have felt worn out, perhaps thinking that there were never enough hours in the day to care for the family and still have some time left over for herself. Funny...I've always looked for the Proverbs 31 woman in other mother's faces. I never realized until today, that I should have been looking at my own mother. I wonder what my daughter sees when she looks at me?
Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeing; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate. ( Proverbs 31:30-31 NIV)
House of Mirrors
The Bible says we are strange people; peculiar people. Like a carnival's house of mirrors, we often appear funny, even ridiculous to the world. Friends make fun of our simple, childlike faith and scoff at our deeds of kindness toward those that scarcely appreciate them. Life's experiences stretch us outward to the limit, and then press down on us until we feel very small and helpless. Through it all, we continue to trust in God's promise that we are more than over comers through Christ. We look to God, on a daily basis, for answers to all of our problems. Through it all, God calls us His Chosen People. Father, help me remember that what the world sees as foolishness, or just smoke and mirrors, you see as your supernatural forces at work, in me.
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light. (I Peter 2:9 NIV)
The young girl stood in front of her full-length mirror, spellbound by what she saw. Only moments ago, she had been a young colt, frolicking around the room in tattered blue jeans and a faded sweatshirt. The transformation was amazing and in the teenage tomboy's place there now stood a stunning beauty. At the sound of a knock she turned, as her father entered the room. He whistled, smiling at her look of anticipation. "Wow, Princess, where did daddy's little girl go? I only see a breathtakingly beautiful young woman!" The young lady beamed as unshed tears glistened in her eyes. "I'm still your little girl, daddy, but tonight I feel so grown up." As her dad extended his arm to escort her from the room, she turned and glanced one last time at her reflection. "Oh, mirror, I don't ever want to forget how my father sees me tonight!" With newly found grace and a sense of empowerment, she walked down the stairs and joined hands with the young man, waiting below...
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come. (II Cor. 5:17 NIV).