Years ago, when my kids were young, I used to keep a prayer journal of anything and anyone I was praying for. I had it organized by month and day and then when a prayer was answered I would write in the date below it and how God had answered it. I used to like to go back and read my prayers and answers because it kept me thinking that nothing was impossible for God, and it showed that He was always there for me. I kept writing in it for a few years but kids and life got in the way, and I stopped writing. I could kick myself for that decision!
You see, the journal was a reflection for me in two distinct ways. The obvious way is that it reflected what I was concerned about and praying about. It showed what was important enough for me to write down and then it showed, sometimes many years later, when God answered that prayer. In this way, the journal’s reflection showed me God’s faithfulness. But it was the other reflection that was of concern to me.
The journal was also a reflection of my heart. At one time in my life, I cared deeply about people and their situations. I cared about my family and their needs. I cared about me and my walk with God. To put it plainly, I cared deeply enough to write about something and to pray about it. Sadly, life has a way of hardening and changing us. We become immune to other people’s needs and their pain. We become callous and self-centered. We give lip service more than knee service. You know what I am talking about, don’t you? Have you ever heard about an issue and said to someone, “I’m praying for you,” but you really aren’t? We use that term pretty flippantly. I am guilty of it, and I am ashamed to admit it. But I would bet if you were honest with yourself, you have done it, too.
Now that isn’t to say that I don’t care or I don’t pray anymore. I certainly do. But I can honestly tell you that my needs and situations in life are more on my mind than the needs of others. And again, if you are really honest with yourself, you are the same way. We all are. We are self-centered, self-indulgent, narcissistic beings.
Recently, I was cleaning out a dresser and came across that old journal. I spent a few moments reading through what I had written and the prayers for people that I am not even acquainted with today. It saddened me when I reached the end of the entries that stopped abruptly in the middle of that journal, and I looked at all the blank pages that followed. It was as if God had spoken out loud to me at that very moment. It was as if He said, “Where you stopped, I kept going. What if I simply stopped caring about you and stopped thinking about your needs?” The empty journal pages were a sad reflection of myself, which I didn’t want to see, and so, I put the journal away.
But just putting the journal away didn’t stop the nagging at my heart that was happening. God wanted me to face something, and He has a way of pointing you right to it. That is exactly what He did today when I opened my Bible app to read this morning. Here is what smacked me in the face: Proverbs 27:19 “As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart.” Think about that for a moment. Really let that sink in. Think about your current life. Think about your thoughts and your actions. Think about your hobbies and your friends. Think about what you read and what you watch. Think about your prayer life and the time that you spend with God. I mean really think about it. What is your life reflecting?
Personlly, I go thru ups and downs. I can be on fire for God and want to read my Bible, pray, and follow HIm, or I can be in the doldrums and half-heartedly read my Bible and kind-of pray. But there is no getting around that verse. God sees what is in the heart and others around us see what our heart is reflecting. So for me the message was loud and clear. And I ask you today to take a look at your reflection. Are you living for the moment, for yourself, and for your own glory or are you living for God, for your eternal future, and His glory? If you glance in the water will you see your reflection or will you see His? And most importantly, what is the reflection that others will see from you? Will they see you or will they see Christ?