Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all
Do you remember this little rhyme? Have you ever thought this to yourself? Have you ever desired to be so beautiful that you would be considered the fairest in all of the land?
I recently went shopping at Hobby Lobby. While I was there, for some absurd reason, I decided to stroll down the aisle with all the mirrors in it. Horrible idea. I left that isle feeling so defeated. It was as if those mirrors had placed a spotlight on all of my flaws.
Not just my physical flaws – my pudgy stomach, my chubby legs, the wide curve of my hips, but also my behavior flaws – the choices to overeat, the days I decided not to work out, the ice cream with chocolate on it that I had consumed.
A trip down that one isle had suddenly made my heart feel like it had been chopped into little pieces. I was so ashamed. I was also fearful. Is this how everyone else sees me? What if they focus on my flaws as intently as I do? What a mess I am!
I wanted to change that little rhyme to something like this:
Mirror mirror on the wall, thin my hips and make me small
Oh, how I wish it was that easy. If I could only repeat that saying over and over again, then step in front of the mirror and shine so radiantly skinny. Wouldn’t that bring me joy? Wouldn’t that bring me confidence? Doesn’t that sound so nice? At first I think it really would be.
But then my mind kept walking down this path. What is thin? When would I actually consider myself small? If I changed my hips would I really find joy or would I just find something else to be critical of. My stomach needs to be sculpted. My legs could use a good firming. How about those stretch marks from having two kids? What about my upper arms? Or my teeth? What about my hair? Would I just continue to find one thing wrong after another, after another, after another.
This is a slippery slope, which I admit I often find myself sliding down. I fall often when it comes to comparing myself to others and coveting what they have. I wish for a thinner waistline. I wish I didn’t have such curves. I wish…I wish…I wish…
Now I realize there are things that I could be doing to improve my situation. I know that I am not a helpless victim. I make a choice of what I put into my body and the work that I do with my body. Honestly, I could use a lot of help in that area and am trying to work each day in the small decisions to improve upon this. I know it will take a great deal of time, energy, effort and persistence to make improvements.
But there is going to come a point where the effort imposed will become exceeding expensive in costs of time, talent and treasures. At a point I am who I am. I can fight it with all my might, ending exhausted and unfulfilled. Or, I can accept who I am and face the truths that I know.
God made me, God made you
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.” Jeremiah 1:5 (NIV)
“For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb.” Psalm 139:13 (NIV)
God made me. God made you. God made us. God is good. Good things come from God.
I am a hand crafted masterpiece. An original precious design. So are you.
I am amazing! You are amazing! We are amazing!
God delights in me, God delights in you
“He brought me out into a spacious place; He rescued me because he delighted in me.” Psalm 18:19 (NIV)
“The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17 (NIV)
God delights in us. He does not just put up with us. God does not sort of like us. God loves us. God lavishly loves us. He cherishes us. God delights in us.
Think for just a moment about what you delight in. What brings you to a place of glee and enchantment and gladness? Picture those moments. Is it being alone with your spouse in the quiet of a still sunset? Is it hugging your children when they arrive home excited to see you? Is it the comfort of a friend who just understands exactly where you are at and loves you through it? Is it watching your children peacefully sleeping? How do you feel at those times?
God feels all that and even more than I can not begin to imagine. He sees every single moment and His love for us never stops. God never stops trying to tell us how much He loves us. Look at the verse from Zephaniah, the Bible says that God will quiet us with His love. Have you ever experienced a deep sense of peace, but logically you should have been running crazy or crying your eyes out? That is a gift from God because He loves us.
Have you ever heard a song and thought, wow I needed to hear that message right now. It’s so perfectly timed. Again, the same verse says that God will rejoice over us with singing. It does not say that God will be unenthusiastic in His song. No! It says He will REJOICE! He will express joy. God will celebrate. God will cheer for us.
Picture this. I am extremely tempted to make an ice cream sundae. I am talking about filling a bowl with a luscious vanilla bean ice cream. Covering it with a rich hot fudge until it pools at the bottom of the bowl. Then blanketing the whole thing in heavy whipped cream and topping it with a sugar soaked maraschino cherry. Maybe even adding a few rainbow sprinkles just for fun. I am an ice cream person so this sounds delightful to me.
But what if I looked to God who delights in me, and who only wanted the absolute best for me. What would He say?
“We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5 (NLT)
God will help me to check my thoughts. If I am being proud and rebellious and selfish, God will help me slay those nasty thoughts if I ask Him. I know that would only be by His strength, not by my own because I am so weak, especially about ice cream.
Maybe God’s answer to this thought might be, go ahead and celebrate with this treat, but get a much smaller bowl my dear. He might say, only if you get some extra spoons and share with your kids. It might be that God says, save this kind of treat for when a friend needs to talk to you. Or God’s answer just might be to back away from the ice cream all together, get your tennis shoes on and go for a walk with Me.
Why does God say these things to me? Why does He want to help direct us, especially in the things we struggle with the most. Because HE LOVES US! God delights in us. He wants the absolute best for us. Let me say that again, God wants the best for us. So what about me. Do I want the absolute best for me? Or do I accept less than that? Do I think I do not deserve it? Am I so prideful and stuck playing a victim?
Have I really received God’s grace? Is it just a gift that I have accepted and placed fully wrapped upon the shelf? Or will I rip that package open and put it to good use. Will I walk in His grace and in God’s love, enthusiastically praising Him for the gift of such a magnitude that the total sum of good deeds in my life could never come close to repaying?
I was made in God’s image. I am precious. God delights in me. If the God who places the awesome heavens in the sky takes delight in me, if I am beautiful to Him, if I know that in my heart, shouldn’t I be able to see that with my eyes in that mirror?
Why should I be afraid of a fixture of glass, metal and wood? Why should I trust it to give me an accurate report of my value and to judge my beauty?
God is beautiful. I am made in God’s image. I are beautiful.
This is true for you, too. You are made in God’s image. The glory of His talents were so delicately woven into the core of your being. You are so beautiful, so precious that God delights in you.
No mirror can ever take this away from us, not if we hold to the truths that the Holy Spirit of God is constantly reminding us of.
We are beautiful!
Thank You so very much for the gift of the Holy Spirit who is constantly remind us of the truths that we need to hear, in the moments that we need to hear them. God we are humbled that You should care for us that much, watching over those tiny details. You are absolutely amazing!
Lord, please help each one of us to look upon our reflections as works of art done by the Master’s hand. Help us to see just a glimpse of the beauty that You crafted us with. Remind us time and time again that You delight in us. Help us to take those nasty thoughts captive and teach our thoughts to be obedient to Christ.
Lord, may we feel You smile upon us as we look at ourselves in mirrors and may we smile right back at You.
In Jesus’ name, amen.