A Mirror’s Conviction + Prayer Evoked from 1 Corinthians 13:12
For believers & non-believers alike, 1 Corinthians 13 is a passage we’ve all most likely heard. “Love suffers long (i.e., is patient) & is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails (1 Corinthians 13:4–8a, NKJV).” The Apostle Paul, writing to the church at Corinth, goes on to explain how love transforms our way of thinking — thus our way of acting — as we grow older (i.e., hopefully grow in our knowledge of Christ). In verses 11 & 12 he tells us: “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man (i.e., grew older), I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.”
Verse 12 is where my personal conviction comes about today. The year 2020 has been one huge dimly lit mirror for me & a lot of the good people around me. Blurry. Confusing. The path ahead isn’t clear. We can’t see around the next bend. We’re all trying to put away childish things, trying to cultivate gratitude, aiming to do right by those around us who are broken yet ultimately falling short — leaving our positive energy also dimly lit. I personally have spent this year deep in Biblical study, trying to get a full grasp on the scripture from Eden to Eternity. But if I’m being honest (& I reckon that’s the whole point of my “word salad” here), I’ve also spent this year feeling like I’m surrounded by dimly lit mirrors — blurred visions of what’s to come, confused on my calling at times, & finding it hard to be grateful amongst my abundant blessings.
Our All-Knowing Savior sensed my weary heart, & placed this “God-wink” in my advent reading this AM: “The Bible was not born for us, nor was it crucified for our sins; nor did it rise & ascend into Heaven for our justification & glorification. Only Jesus did that. The Bible does not make us wise for salvation through faith in Christ. It is absolutely reliable. But the reason we love reading its pages is because we see reflected in them the face of our Savior. We must beware falling in love with our learning instead of our Lord. One day we will have no need of the Bible. We will no longer need the mirror that is so essential to use here, for we will see Him face to face.” ~ Sinclair B. Ferguson, excerpt from Chapter 22 of Love Came Down at Christmas
There it was, in black & white, the answer/remedy to my fatigue that I didn’t know I was searching for. Until this morning, I hadn’t realized that I’d prioritized my love of learning about Jesus as a historical character over communing with His Holy Spirit each day. What a bittersweet moment I found myself in — needing forgiveness from Him & also thanking Him for the clarity He provided at a moment’s notice. If you’re reading this & it feels familiar, maybe it’s time to evaluate your love of being a student of Jesus’ goodness & how it may be impacting your desire for His daily presence. You see, He’s alive & well. He’s with you & me right this very second although we can’t see Him. The mirror is a bit blurry because we are still waiting for His second coming — the restoration of Eden. May we not forget to commune with Him “in part” by way of the Holy Spirit until we know Him “face to face.” For those of you needing direction on how to talk to Him about this matter, feel free to pray my prayer (below) from this morning:
“Savior, Please forgive me for putting the learning of You before the actual You. In an attempt to find You, I’ve prioritized reading & hearing about You & forgotten to truly call on You — to sit with You in the quiet of the morning & to consult with You in the chaos of the day. I’m sorry, Jesus, for focusing on gospel as a means of peace rather than focusing on The Prince of Peace that the gospel is all about. May I not abandon my love of learning & studying after this revelation, but rather channel that inquisitiveness into learning to call You into the present moment; & to study how Your Word is applicable to the current environment I find myself in. Once this enhanced relationship with You evolves, may the joy & comfort that it cultivates cause others to ask me where my hope comes from so that I can profess the Name above all names — Jesus. I love You, need You, & once again give my heart to You, Amen.”