“LORD, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am. Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee.” Psalm 39:4, 5a
A couple of years ago my boys and I were able to go with some friends on a summer fishing trip to one of our favourite spots in Maine. These all-too-short getaways are something we always look forward to and this one was especially exciting for my four-year-old son Benjamin. It was his first major overnight adventure with us and he could barely contain the thrill of this rite of passage.
As we made our journey deeper into the woods along bumpy dirt roads, I kept my camera handy to snap photos of any wildlife that might cross our path. With my eyes peeled for moose and bear, I was intently focused on the road far ahead and almost missed the wonderful scene that was playing out much closer to me. It was a quick glance in the side mirror that grabbed my attention and brought instant joy to my heart. There was my little son, smiling face in the wind, thoroughly enjoying the whole experience.
As I was reflecting on this moment, captured in time by my camera, the words stamped on the mirror stood out to me, “OBJECTS IN MIRROR ARE CLOSER THAN THEY APPEAR.”
In James 1:23-24 the Bible warns us that we need to take heed to God’s Word and be doers and not just hearers of it. James likens this process to “a man beholding his natural face in a glass” who should not fail to correct what he sees. In other words, the mirror only reflects an image back and tells us what we really look like.
Unlike a glass mirror, which can only reveal the superficial, the Bible is much better in that it has a marvelous way of peering deep into our souls. Hebrews 4:12 puts it this way, “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.”
Frankly, and more often than I like to admit, I look into God’s Mirror and I don’t like the reflection that comes back because it shows my own heart. Sins that have remained hidden and unconfessed glare back at me and demand action. Thankfully, God does not leave us to fix these things on our own, but instead uses that same Mirror to show us the solution (1 John 1:8-10).
Finally, a mirror reveals just how fleeting this life is. Looking at the photo of my son, I cannot help but visualize another little boy, which not so long ago enjoyed the same things. Now when that boy stands before a mirror, he sees hair once parted that has now departed and a face once youthful that wrinkles when he smiles. Where have those in-between-years gone?
The two mirrors tell a story, the one of frailty, brevity and loss and the other of hope, redemption, and eternal life (James 4:14; Titus 3:7). As we get a glimpse of the reflections, we would do well to heed their message because OBJECTS IN MIRROR ARE CLOSER THAN THEY APPEAR.
Post by: Jack Caron, NBBI Missions Director, Faculty