One of the blessings of my journey to grow in abiding in Christ is reflection. Webster’s defines reflect as “to think quietly and calmly.” As I learn to abide, it leads me to times of reflection. I am learning how good it is to reflect. Too often in my past, I would look back with much regret. “Shoulda.” “Coulda.” “Woulda.” When you’re me, with all my quirkiness, impulsiveness, insecurities, and sinfulness, looking back can be pretty discouraging. But as I am learning to abide in Christ, I am learning to reflect and think quietly and calmly about all the things God has done in my life despite or maybe better put, in spite of me.
Very recently, two verses really gripped my heart as I reflected upon God’s involvement in my life. In Jeremiah 31:3, I reflected upon the unbelievable truth of His Word, “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” Yesterday, in the midst of facing a long time fear of mine, I kept thinking, “My Father loves me with an everlasting love.” He knows me inside and out. He knows my fears and lack of faith. He knows my sinfulness. He knows everything about me and still, He loves me with a love that will last forever. He actually loves me!! That is unbelievable! That’s called grace upon grace upon grace!
“I have loved you with an everlasting love. ”
Another passage I have been quietly and calmly thinking about is Ps. 139:17-18. The more I think about this passage, the more crazy it is. It is truly unbelievable! “How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!” Okay, I can understand that God has thoughts about me. Even me. But how many? They only outnumber the grains of sand! I once heard that 1 cubit foot of sand contains over a billion grains of sand! Just 1 cubit foot! How much would all the grains of sand be on just one beach! Or just one playground sandbox. Just one! Not all the beaches or sandboxes in the world. And God’s thoughts about me outnumber that amount? Really? How can that be? This is me we are talking about. But as I reflect and think quietly and calmly at the truth of God’s Word, it begins to sink in. That my God, knowing who I really am, the good, the bad and the ugly, loves me with an everlasting love and thinks about me more than I could ever imagine!
How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand!
As I pondered all that, a very precious thought came to my mind and into my heart. On September 21, 1992, God’s everlasting love was demonstrated to me with the birth of my son, John. The Bible says that children are a gift from the Lord. On that day, I received a very special gift. 24 years later as we celebrated his birthday, I was reminded of God’s innumerable thoughts about me and His everlasting love, as I reflect upon His gift called John. He has been a source of great joy, a very articulate and sensitive young man, an outstanding school teacher and leader, who at 24, is honestly and truly, a far greater man than I was at his age. And you know what that is? It’s a joy. It’s the joy of a father when he sees his son mature into an amazing adult. It’s an answer to prayer that my ceiling will be my children’s floor. That they would go far beyond where I have gone. It’s an affirmation of God’s everlasting love and yes, how precious His thoughts about me.
Yes, there are many challenges I face. Yes, life can be stressful. Yes, I get worn down and discouraged. Yes, I give in to too much fear, more than I would care to admit. BUT, oh the joy of abiding in Christ. How precious it is to abide and reflect upon all that God has done, is doing, and will do, in and through the life of someone as imperfect as me. That’s crazy! But that’s God. Thanks, God!