Reflect is an interesting word.
Studying its etymology - it appears first to have been used in a purely scientific sense:
to cast back (light, heat, sound, etc.) from a surface,
to give back or show an image of,
to turn or bend back, to divert, to turn aside, deflect, to shine back light rays or images...
Other uses of the word came as the word's use grew and changed ~
- (of an act or its result) to serve to cast or bring (credit, discredit, etc.) on its performer.
- to reproduce; show: followers reflecting the views of the leader.
- to think, ponder, or meditate: to reflect on one's virtues and faults.
I've been reflecting... thinking... pondering... meditating on the following words during the past few days of this Advent season:
Come, let us return to the Lord.
He has torn us to pieces
but He will heal us;
He has injured us
but He will bind up our wounds.
After two days He will revive us;
on the third day He will restore us,
that we may live in His presence.
Let us acknowledge the Lord;
let us press on to acknowledge Him.
As surely as the sun rises,
He will appear;
He will come to us like the winter rains,
like the spring rains that water the earth.
What can I do with you, Ephraim?
What can I do with you, Judah?
Your love is like the morning mist,
like the early dew that disappears.
Therefore I cut you in pieces with my prophets,
I killed you with the words of my mouth—
then my judgments go forth like the sun.
For I desire mercy, not sacrifice,
and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings.
Funny how you can read something... and read it again not even that much later... and notice totally different things. And that is what has happened to me as I've read and reflected... letting God's Word shine and deflect back His light on my thoughts about this passage from Hosea during this time of advent anticipation...
I wondered if the disciples thought back to those words in the first section... after the Crucifixion, death and resurrection of Christ... I wondered how sometimes the hard things God brings into our lives aren't so much physical but mental and emotional. Also... how His restoration is for no other reason than that we can live in His presence.
Then there was this: "Let us acknowledge... let us press on to acknowledge..." Sometimes I want to think that those hard struggles should be defeated once and for all... ultimate and final victories. I don't like continually having to struggle and battle. As the Light turns aside my preferences, I see how we acknowledge once and for all... but then have to make that choice continually. Pressing on equals pursuing, chasing...motivated by consuming power equivalent to the force behind one intent on persecuting. It is also the same word scribed by David in Psalm 23, referring to God's lovingkindness and mercy "following" David. It's a persistent, continual stubbornness in my choice to always acknowledging the Lord and His work, His presence, His authority over me and my life - not just with my words but in the very way I live.
Yikes... lots of conviction as I reflect and ponder on those ideas.
Join up with Lisa Jo for 5MF this week - and then we'll be taking a break for the Christmas season. See you back in 2014!