Reflections: Day 4 - Our Reflection in His Eyes
Updated: May 18, 2020
This 7-day devotional series will reveal how to spend this time in quarantine reflecting and examining your life through God‘s eyes, so that you can redeem your thoughts towards your past, be present with Him and boldly enter the post-COVID world in the center of His perfect will in this season of our lives and the next.
One of the hardest things for me to do is look in a mirror.
I’ve never been particularly happy with the way I looked. Like just about everything I see in life, I always spot and dwindle on things that are wrong, broken or flawed.
The acne scars and bag under my eyes.
The love handles that won't seem to go away even after losing 20+ lbs since January 2020.
My bulging, squinty eyes.
The list could go on and on about what is wrong with me or what I would change. The same goes for my past. During this lockdown as I work from home, I have noticed that my thoughts often, like most of the time, drift negative, especially about my past. What I should have done, what I shouldn’t have done, how I should have started this blog years ago, relationships I should have pursued and those I shouldn’t have.
Regrets. Shame. And the fact that I turn 30 this year isn’t helping.
Most of this happens in my bed, staring at my ceiling fan in the darkness of night after telling Alexa to play rain and thunder sounds, dreading the mundane repetition of the next day.
But this type of reflection is not healthy or biblical. Dwelling on the past, without God’s perspective, can steal your time, joy and stop you from God’s best for your future. Focusing on the negative and replaying past mistakes is paralyzing as you try to avoid remaking the pain.
For me, low self-esteem has been a hindrance to relationships, both friendships and romantic, because of the lies and the false memories that I replay in my head seeing my past through my carnal eyes and not from God’s vantage point outside of time, where we are seated with Him in heavenly places.
God wants to redeem your past. He works all things out for your good if you love Him. Whether your BC (before Christ) days bring shame or even if you were raised in the church like me and feel regret about past decisions, if you take the time to reflect and ask God to show you how He was there all along, He can reveal himself even in your past. What didn’t kill you made you stronger and, the wisdom gained will propel you to new heights. God wants to plunder the darkest moments to show you that He can make beauty into ashes and use it to be a blessing to you and for others He wants you to bring into the family.
If all your time is focused on the past, you can’t live in the moment or have the time to plan for the future.
For me personally, if I stop and purposefully think how God has been a part of my life since I was a child and how I got to this moment as I write this devo, I have lived an incredibly blessed life and have experienced so much with God, how can I be regretful of anything. It’s a matter of which perspective I take.
The past year I have grown and doing better at seeing my life and myself the way God sees me (the existence of this blog is evidence of that) as I reflect on the fact that He has been directing my path all along because I have been seeking Him all along and that can only mean that everything, flaws and all, can be used for His glory.
But I’m still a work in progress, obviously.
3 things that have gotten me to a better place:
Be grateful - Gratitude dissolves worry and complaining. It's a mood shifter. We have more control over our emotions and thoughts than we want to admit. Declare His praises and see if God doesn’t show up.
Stop the comparison - Your journey is yours alone and not to be compared to others. What God wants to do in your life is for you and those He will bring in your circle. He is the potter and we are the clay. We are uniquely, fearfully and wonderfully made for a specific purpose, place and time. You can never fail at being you.
See your past the way God sees it - God never leaves anything wasted. He works all things for your good. Mistakes are learning opportunities. Losses are opportunities for gain. Your past is not regretful but in God’s hands, a testimony that overcomes the enemy. Don’t run from your past. Give it to God and watch what treasure He makes from it.
Scriptures to Read:
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul knows very well.
Romans 8:26 - 28
26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27 Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.
“The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, Because the Lord has anointed Me To preach good tidings to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives, And the opening of the prison to those who are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, And the day of vengeance of our God; To comfort all who mourn, To console those who mourn in Zion, To give them beauty for ashes, The oil of joy for mourning, The garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called trees of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”
Close your eyes. Think of a moment of shame, regret and hurt. When you are there ask God to reveal where He was in that moment. Where is He? What is He saying? Surrender that moment to God and ask Him to redeem it. What can be learned and how does He want you to us it for His glory? Write down what is revealed to you.
Jesus, redeem my past. Give me your eyes to see my past. Show me how you have been directing my path. I thank you that you are a God of restoration. The great redeemer. You knew me before I was born and made me for such a time as this. You started and good work with me and you will finish it. Replace my regret with redemption. Silence the lies of shame and condemnation. Holy Spirit lead me into all truth into how I should see my past. Give me eyes to see myself the way you see me. Give my eyes to see others as you see them. My identity, all of me, is in you. We are one. I pray every aspect of my life my glorify you and build your kingdom. Amen.