A few years ago my mother in law gave me a 12x magnification hand mirror as a part of a gift. She said that she uses hers all the time and expected that I would love it. Never thinking I would actually need or use it, I thanked her with all the grace I could muster and put the mirror away where I put the gifts that I never plan on needing or using. (C’mon. I know you have a spot in your house for that kind of gift too, right!?)
Fast-forward a few years…
My teenaged son was working on a self-portrait for art class and asked me if I had a hand mirror. Since I remembered that the 12x magnification mirror had a normal-mirror side, I ran and got it for him.
After his art project was completed, Preston returned the hand mirror to the top drawer of my bathroom vanity. (SO not where it had been!) Not long after that, on a grooming day, I reached for my tweezers to pluck what needed plucking, and in doing so my eyes fell upon the 12x magnification mirror.
“What the heck! I’ll try it,” I thought.
Insert freaky horror sounds here…
I was not at all prepared for the revelation of my up-close and personal reflection. My pores looked like swimming pools and my stray eyebrow hairs looked like tree trunks. Even the super tiny fine ones! It. Was. Crazy.
And I must tell you; eyebrow plucking has never been the same for me since!
Here’s why: prior to having this hyper magnified experience, I’d always thought I did a good job plucking my eyebrows. But the clarity and power that came with the 12x magnification mirror has changed the game. Though I used to think I did a good job plucking, now I know that I do – because what is not visible to me in a normal mirror is vibrantly clear in the magnified one. So now every stray that doesn’t belong gets gone!
Over the years, I’ve found it far too easy to go through my days in a way that’s similar to how I used to pluck my eyebrows. I’ve allowed only the easily visible sins to be plucked from my life, leaving me blissfully unaware of the smaller, harder-to-see stray responses, attitudes, thought patterns, and choices that need to be plucked as well. This is still a constant struggle!
God’s plans for us are so much greater than this type of living. He tells us that we are to be holy as he is holy (Leviticus 11:44,1 Peter 1:16). How can we? With His help… and only with His help. We can trust that he is ready to be there every time we need Him because He knows and loves us more than we will ever be able to grasp.
God knows us perfectly. He’s familiar with all of our ways – good and bad. He knows where we go, what we think, how we feel, what we prioritize and how we respond. He sees us on the mountaintops and He sees us in the pits. The psalmist David proclaimed that before a word was even on his tongue, God knew it completely. (Psalm 139:4)
He loves us perfectly. His love goes before us, behind us, above us and below us. He compassionately protects, provides for, and cherishes us. Psalm 139 blows me away! I just can’t wrap my mind around the thought that God, who created space and time, is not constrained by space or time. He loved us and knew us before we even were! All of the days of our lives are ordained and were written in His book before one of them came to be. (Psalm 139:16)
In awe of our all-present, all-seeing, all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-loving God, David deeply desired to live a life of pure, responsive worship. He cried out, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” (Psalm 139: 23-24)
That’s a 12x magnified prayer, my friend! David prayed for purposed purity to rise. He wanted God to show him the stray sins that he could not see – SO THAT the Lord could then lead him to a better, more holy way.
If you and I can get this… if we will determine to prioritize this type of praying on a heart level and allow God to sift through the stray sins of our lives, the Spirit of God will lead us to new heights, widths, and depths of His love, purity, and power.
Ready for a deeper, 12x magnified adventure with God? JUST ASK… Lord, search me! Know me! Show me! Then, JUST LISTEN… and be prepared to move in the direction of His leading and His love.
Dear Lord, Search me. Know me. Show me. Please shine your holy light on any shady areas of my life that need correction or direction. Crush any stubborn ways that keep me from Your will and Your best. Magnify any secret sins or unknown compromises that hinder my holiness. And move me forward in Your grace so that I can be led by Your Spirit and so that others can see Your love through me. In Jesus’ name, amen.
FOR YOUR REFLECTION and RESPONSE:
Read Psalm 139. Journal a prayer response.
Grab your Bible and a journal or piece of paper and then fill in the blanks of these verses:
“Where can I __ from your _______? Where can I ___ from your __________? If I go up to the __________, you are ________; if I make my bed in the __________, you are _________. If I _________ on the wings of the dawn, if I ________ on the far side of the sea, _______ ___________ your hand will ________ me, your right hand will _______ me fast.” (Psalm 139: 7-10, NIV)
NOW, let’s make that personal. Fill in the following blanks, inserting YOUR people, places and heart matters.
“Lord, Your loving presence is incredible! Your Word assures me that even if ______________ happens, you are there. When I’m overwhelmed by the circumstances with _______________, you are there. When I find myself filled with fears and doubts about ______________, your right hand will hold me fast. Thank you, Lord. I cherish your presence and love you too.”
Leave a comment or a prayer request in the comments section. Then pause to pray for some of the other prayer needs on my wall.
Every step of transformation begins with the heart of God. If you would like to learn more about how your brokenness can be reworked into a picture of God’s beauty, order my book Broken Into Beautiful. This resource will help you experience the power of hope, healing and restoration!