In His Image (Day 2 from Besides Still Waters)
The reflections that I’ve seen on the water remind me of how life is forever changing from glory to glory as we become transformed into the image of Christ. There are times when we must reflect on our past as God brings things back to our remembrance that might be hindering the work He wants to do in our lives. When this has happened to me I always think of Peter in Mark 14:72; it seems like Peter was always learning the hard way, but you have to give him credit for his teachable spirit. In this text, Jesus had been arrested and taken before the Sanhedrin where e was found guilty of blasphemy and condemned to death. As Jesus was led out to be taken before Pilate to be sentenced Peter was among the crowd in the courtyard; it was there that faithful Peter denied knowing the Lord three different times. “As the rooster crowed the second time Peter called to mind the words that Jesus had said to him, “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.” (NKJV) Instantly Jesus’s words rang in his ears and Peter realizing what he had done and began to weep. What do you think was going through his mind after he realized what he had done? When my store closed and I was hanging on to my faith by a thread I know what was going through mine; I failed the Lord and I cried for five long years.
Now I have a question for you, have you ever believed in your heart the Lord was asking you to let go of something in your past and you just couldn’t? Well, you’re not alone. We may not be responsible for the action of others in our past that has caused us harm, but we are responsible for how we allow them to affect us as Christians. There comes a time when God requires us to forgive those who have hurt us so that we can move forward in our walk with him; “. . . being transformed into the same image from glory to glory . . .” At that moment you must decide, as Peter did, are you going to let your past define who you are or allow God to use your past to help create who you’re becoming in Him. I’m not here to tell you your life is always going to be a bed of roses when you accept Christ, even a rose has thorns, but when you allow Him to turn the negative things of your past into positive direction for your future, you will begin to change from pain to freedom. That fateful night in our old house, as I sat in the library God said it was time to let it go and give it to him; that was my Peter’s moment! I no longer cast a gloomy silhouette upon the water.
While fishing one early afternoon I was drawn to the reflection of the sun on the water. It started as a wide path, and as it got closer to the boat, the path narrowed and faded out to a spray of diamond-like reflections before me. The reflection was so bright it hurt my eyes, but I just couldn’t seem to look away. As I sat there Matthew 7:13-14 came to mind, “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (NKJV) The years I felt so empty I thought I was standing still, going nowhere, but I wasn’t; you see we are all on a spiritual road rather we realize it or not. When I closed the store I came to a fork in the road, I chose the wrong way. God was offering me a chance to take the path that leads to strength through hardship that would bring healing, restoration, and purpose to my life. He was offering me a path that was best for my well-being, one that would give me hope and a future. The path I chose brought further destruction only leading to more hardships and emptiness. I don’t want you to miss this, so it bears repeating; 2 Corinthians 3:18 uses the term ‘unveiled faces’ this Greek term means that once the veil has been lifted it is lifted forever. God wants only the best for us; therefore as we stand before that spiritual mirror we must be willing to see the things in us that hinder our relationship with Him. The scripture says we are changed from glory to glory, it’s active; we are ‘being’ transformed into the image of Christ by the Spirit of the Lord. For five years I lived behind a false front, at work I played the part of a secretary; at church, I acted like a Christian, I said all the right things and did the right things, but my heart wasn’t in it. I thank God every day for bringing me through those years; when I didn’t even realize He was there. It took five years to bring me to the same fork in the road, only this time I chose the right path. It’s here beside these still waters that God is restoring my soul.