Photos, where a distant snow-covered mountain is reflected in a perfectly still lake, have always intrigued me. The reflection is so perfect that you could turn the picture upside down and not know which one is the reflection and which one is the real thing.

My “Kodak” moment came on a vacation. We were driving in the North Cascades National Park in Northwest Washington State. As we were climbing the winding road up the mountain, I saw Mt. Shuksan reflected in a large pond. I turned the car around so fast that Lynne almost hit the dashboard (but, being a good citizen, she was wearing her seatbelt)! I parked the car and hiked along the shoreline until I found the perfect spot, and I got this picture:

To be honest, this isn’t the photo-op of my dreams. There was a bit of ripple in the water, just enough to make it less than a mirror image. Thinking about this picture makes me reflect on my own life. In Genesis 1, we are told that God made us in His own image (1:26-27), and then we marred that reflection. While the Bible never uses the word reflection, the concept is there. Paul, writing to the believers in Rome, said this:

“For those whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, in order that He might be the firstborn among many brothers.” (Romans 8:29, ESV)

When God says that we are to be conformed to the image of His Son, He is saying that we are to be like Him. We are to reflect, if you will, the image of Him who created us.

So, how does this work itself out in my life? First, it implies a need to be close. A mirror doesn’t do you much good unless you get close enough to see a perfect reflection of yourself. We’re talking about intimacy here. Just as the Moon reflects the light of the Sun, we are to reflect the light of the Son! I’ve said this before, but one of my favorite passages of Scripture is in Acts, where the disciples are on the carpet before the Sanhedrin and they are being questioned about the message they are preaching:

“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated, common men, they were astonished. And they recognized that they had been with Jesus.” (Acts 4:13, ESV)

Short answer: they had been changed by the time spent with Him. Paul told the Corinthian believers,

“Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.” (I Corinthians 15:49, ESV)

It’s up to me to make that a reality in my life. Time spent in intimate fellowship with Jesus will transform me. When I allow the world in, the ripples stir the water. The longer I stay away, the bigger the ripples and the more marred the reflection, sometimes to where you cannot see the beauty of the reflection at all (ask my wife; she’ll tell you)! I am not a perfect reflection, but I’m working on it. David said this of God:

“He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.” (Psalm 23:2b-3a, ESV)

In Psalm 46:10a, we hear this: “Be still and know that I am God.” If you want to begin to reflect the image of Him who made you come to the quiet!

What say you, Man of Valor?

Adapted from Men of Valor Devotional by Ron Helle, 9 February 2024

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