“Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.” James 1:23-24 NIV
Forgetting Who We Are
It’s easy to forget who we are, or at least “whose” we are. We get up every morning and get ready for our day, but who is that woman looking back at us? Who is that man?
Through all the chaos and pain addiction brought into our family, I lost myself somewhere along the way. I became confused and lost my confidence. I lost my identity.
I used to “feel” close to Jesus. I knew his voice and direction. Addiction in our family changed that. It tested my faith like nothing else before ever had.
I felt alone in the silence of God, waiting to hear him speak. The chaos in my mind twisted every word so that his voice was drowned out by a dull roar.
It reminds me of attending a party in an over-crowded house, much too small for all the guests. With music blaring, each person shouts over the next in an attempt to be heard, to no avail. All they can do is read each other’s lips and leave with a headache.
So, it was with reading the word of God. I would see the words on the page, but they were blurry and illegible. Like steam on a bathroom mirror after a hot shower, I couldn’t see my own image. I couldn't see God's image.
And while God was trying to speak to me, his words were lost to eyes too teary to read them and to ears too deaf to hear them.
I had forgotten who I was, and worse yet, I had forgotten who my God was. I forgot how very much he loved me. I forgot that the same power that raised Christ from the dead was working in me. I forgot that my prayers were being heard and did not sound off deaf ears.
The Child In The Mirror
I forgot to look in the mirror and see whose child I was, whose child I am.
I forgot that for my son too. His behavior often caused me to forget who he was and only see all that addiction had made him to be. I forgot the smart and and handsome and talented son I gave birth to, and only saw, the hopelessness of who he had become, as his addiction morphed him into someone unrecognizable.
But Jesus hasn’t forgotten him. Not for one second. He has never lost hope. He has never stopped seeing him for who he really is, deep down inside, under all that pain he is trying to hide from.
He didn’t forget me either. He reminded me then and still reminds me today of who I am. Through his word, he wipes the steam off the mirror and shows me who I am, the girl he created in his image.
The daughter or son he loves, his chosen one.
"For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you..." 1Thesselonians 1:4 NIV
It took me a while to grasp that love and to believe that I was chosen because Jesus wanted intimacy with me. I would look in the mirror and see pain and shame and regret. I would look into the future and see hopelessness.
Not so with Jesus. When he looks at my past, he sees his forgiveness. When he looks at my future, he sees his promises. When he looks at my today, he sees grace.
This gift of forgiveness, promise, and grace is for each of us. It washes away the pain of our past. It gives us hope for our future. It blesses us with strength for today.
The woman who looks back at me in the mirror is today is not the same woman who looked back at me a few years ago, even a few months ago. Hey, she's not the same woman whose reflections I saw a few days ago.
She is new. Behold, all things are made new.
As you open your bible today, let Jesus speak to you his tender words of love. Let him remind you who you are in him. You are loved. You are chosen.
Your loved one is loved and chosen. Ask the Lord to help you see them through his eyes. Look for his reflection when you look at them. He never left them. He’s still there.
You may just have to look a little more intently.