This week in Heartbreakingly Beautiful we take a deeper look at the source of true beauty and unveil the secret that Bethany discovered… true beauty comes from gazing on and reflecting the Beautiful One – Jesus Christ! Beth discovered that Jesus was her ‘mirror’ – the One she was to gaze on and reflect back to all who beheld her. The Lord has given us other examples in nature that teach us principles about reflection. Let’s take a look at a couple of them now and learn from them so that we too can BE Reflectors of Jesus…
Silver – purified and polished:
Have you ever seen a chunk of unrefined silver? Silver ore is just an ugly looking rock but the expert knows the intrinsic value buried deep within. The silversmith knows that in order to draw out the beauty within the lump of minerals he holds in his hands, the silver must be refined. It must be purified through the fire in order for the dross to melt away and the pure silver to be revealed. I am told that the refiner carefully tends the fire throughout the refining process, watching intently with expert eyes and applying the perfect amount of heat in perfect timing until purification is complete.
What is the refiner’s goal? It is to mold and make something beautiful and useful. A good refiner has the skill to transform useless chunks into priceless works of art! And how does the refiner know when his work is complete? He knows the silver is ready when he can see his own reflection shining back at him!
Friends, do you realize that the Bible speaks about God refining our lives as a silversmith refines silver? The ancient psalmist sang out to the people of Israel; “You have tested us, O God; you have purified us as silver.” (Psalm 66:10)
I have a few special pieces of silver jewelry that have already been refined. The purified silver usually shines in the light and if I hold the items close to my face, I can usually see my reflection. But not this week! After a swim in a spa, all my lovely silver turned black! Nothing good was reflecting back from these sliver treasures! So I purchased a special polishing cloth and rubbed and scrubbed them with fury until I could see my reflection again. My hands became sore and filthy in the process too. (Sounds just like the kind of polishing process Jesus has done for us after we have become tarnished with sin doesn’t it!)
The Moon – positioned just right:
The moon is the biggest example of reflection God has placed high up in the sky for us to ponder. A beautiful moonlit night is a wonder to behold. But as you know, the moon itself is just a lump of dead minerals. It needs to be in the right position to reflect back to earth the rays of light that emanate from the sun. In order to BE Reflectors of Jesus, we too need to be positioned correctly. We get into trouble when we think of ourselves as the ‘star’ in our own universe! Just like the moon and the sliver, we are lumps of minerals – nothing without the infusing life and light of Christ! (Guess what our bodies are actually made up of… minerals!) When we are ‘out of orbit’, in the wrong position, we cannot BE Reflectors of the light and glory of Christ.
So what is the correct position? Where is ‘just the right place’ we need to be so that we can BE Reflectors as we were designed to be? It begins friends at the foot of the cross of Christ. As our knees are bowed humbly before Him, He raises our faces to behold Him and lifts us up to stand in His righteousness. Dr John Piper says that when we are turned with faces gazing on Jesus, with arms open wide to receive Him, we are then able to reflect Him back to the world like a giant mirror! But when we turn our backs on God, we end up gazing at our own reflection, which although can still be pretty impressive, is actually just a mere shadow of the image of Christ. So the correct position for reflecting is repentance – turning our faces back to God and gazing on Him again and again. Watch what beautiful glory will be reflected back when we are aligned correctly!
“But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had the veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord – who is the Spirit – makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.” 2 Corinthians 3:16-18
The image of Beth’s broken body still haunts me, but at the same time, I am blown away when I remember all the beauty she reflected back to Jesus! I can hardly wait to see the restored version of our Brown-Eyed Beauty – finally made perfect and standing beside The Beautiful One! You know, one day we are promised that all who are in Christ will gaze on His face and He will gaze on ours in the flesh! Until then, here are the best ‘beauty tips’ I can offer to make this reflecting lesson practical…
- Gaze upon The Beautiful One as revealed in the Bible. Get to know Jesus through the revelation of His Word.
- Gaze upon the refection of His beauty in His creation.
- Gaze upon the reflection of His beauty in His children. (All of whom are still in the process of being refined, polished and positioned – but still reflecting different facets of His character!)
- Fix the eyes and ears of your heart upon Jesus – set your mind on Him and imagine Him in all His glory!
- Believe what He says about you – you are the apple of His eye and uniquely beautiful to Him!
- Submit to the Refiner’s fire, His purifying, polishing and positioning!
- BE Reflectors and SHINE beautifully!
Songs to encourage you…
Psalm 27 by Sons of Korah
Beautiful by MercyMe (given to Beth as a theme song by her friend Amy and her mum Gail who helped nurse Beth.)
Beautiful by Bethany Dillan (Beth chose to include this one in the PowerPoint presentation she made to help women who are suffering from obstetric fistula.)
Mirror by Barlow Girl (Beth’s favorite as a young teenager.)
A book to build you up:
Captivating by John and Stasi Eldridge