• Jason Wade


11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:11-12

There is no secret that we, at least I think, cannot physically go back in time. I know that there is always hope when it comes to movies that one day we will discover a way to travel through the quantum realm and relive the times that we have missed out on over the years. But for now, time continues to pass by and we continue to look in disbelief that the person in the mirror is only a reflection of the person we thought we were going to be. The mirror, as mentioned before, definitely shows the imperfections that we sometimes don't want to admit we have. It is the reality of life and how the day to day grind of this world has caused us to truly change from the person that we remember and the person we are still trying to be for God. We are able to see hopes and dreams of each day in the eyes of the person that represents who we really are. We are able to have true conversations in hopes that the person on the other side of the reflection will suddenly speak back and give us the true answers that we need. The reflection in the mirror is the truth literally staring us in the face, and so many times we easily turn a blind eye and continue to hope for better things to come.

But today I want to debunk that thinking process. I want each of us to stop for a minute and truly look at the amazing creation that God has put together. It is a masterpiece. It is something that cannot be recreated in any shape or form, and it is a true miracle of God. The reflection is the reality that none of us are perfect and no product or surgery will ever get us to be more perfect that what God created us to be in the first place. Once we try to mess with God's perfection it becomes imperfection and the beauty we are trying to attain will

never be accomplished. We must continue to find joy in our wrinkles, scars, and zits. We must stop trying to live up to the model the world is trying to sell us and realize that we are a priceless work of art made by the master CREATOR. The same CREATOR that made the heavens, the earth, the solar system, the ocean, the clouds, etc... you name it.. HE MADE IT. Stop trying to perfect it in your way and step into His way and recognize true beauty. I know that there has always been a time where I wished that I could tan. I know, insert ginger joke here. And trust me, every time I wear shorts I am constantly reminded that I need to go out in the sun or that I need to turn down the brightness. But you know what... after years and years of trying to change, and tons of aloe vera sun burn sessions later, I realized that I am ok with who I am. I want to reflect the SON and I want to shine bright in this world for Jesus. When I finally accepted who God has created me to be, I finally realized that I could stop trying to find a different person in the mirror and fall in love with the one I see each morning. I mean literally there is no one else in this world that shows up for me more every morning and accepts me for what I look like, what I am wearing or how crazy my hair may look than the person in that reflection. And honestly that person in the reflection, continues to remind me every day how I continue to find ways to reflect Jesus in my life.

In our scripture for today, we see Paul talking to us about the fullness of God's love. We are able to see how Paul describes this continual growth in how we reflect the love of God to every person that we meet. I know that a lot of people use this scripture in weddings because they want to let the world know about the love they have for each other, but the truth of the scripture is Paul talking about the reflection of God's love that exudes out of our lives. As I talk to each one of my wedding couples, I tell them that when they use this verse, you are saying to the world that this is a reflection of God's love for you to the world. We are all to strive to understand that love is patient, kind, not self-seeking or easily angered. Love does not continue to hold on to wrongs from others, but rejoices in the truth. Love always protects, trust, hopes, and never fails. And as we read these earlier parts of Paul's letter, it helps us to realize more what Paul is saying about our reflections in our verses today. Read them again with me. "11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.12 For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." We recognize that as children we were very open and honest about everything we saw and experienced. We would say things without even thinking because we didn't know about hurt. We were taught honesty and we spoke things in love. Paul says we see only a reflection because the older we became the more we started forgetting about that childlike faith. We stepped into maturity as adults and we continued to battle between living out our joy and changing to satisfy the world. Our reflections changed until we realized how the power of God's love brought us back to the joy we had forgotten. After all of the struggles, successes and failures, these three reflections from God remain-faith, hope and love... but the greatest reflection we will ever have is love.

I challenge all of us to take hold of each day and truly look into that mirror and recapture the joy of the reflections that we have failed to see. Go back and remember the hopes that still remain in the eyes that we gaze into and enjoy the smile that is reflected back. Take joy in

the moment that the person you are gazing at is you and the beautiful creation that God made that can only be you. Then blink and refocus and see if that image in the mirror slowly begins to change into a reflection of God's love. See the grace and mercy in your eyes. Recognize the love that flows from the heart. Breathe in and out and enjoy the fact that you are alive and have the chance to truly make a large impact in this world today. Regardless of what you may see, others have the opportunity to truly see God through you and I just want you to recognize that amazing ability that lives in that image you may try not to stare at in the mirror. Take hold of your reflection and allow others to see Jesus... in your actions, your mannerisms, your service... or whatever it may be.The reflection of God's love exudes through you and the world needs to see an honest example of God's love reflected in truth. Even though all of the rest of God's creation seems so vast and beautiful, He created us in HIS image as a reflection of His love for us. You are a reflection of God's joy because when He created us... He sees us as very good, don't forget that powerful image. You are a masterpiece of God. Take hold of that and live into it every second of your life.

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