As in water, face reflects face, so a man’s heart reveals the man.
My favorite time to pray is in the early-morning hours, when darkness shields my eyes from unending tasks and silence surrounds my ears, allowing me to focus more intently on the Lord.
Stillness is easier here, in the quiet that blankets our home. I encounter the Lord most often during these peaceful times, as I know many of you do also. These times are precious to me!
One night, as I worshiped and shared communion with Him, I had a vision. In the Spirit, I saw Jesus standing on what looked like the shore of the Sea of Galilee.
In His hands He held my heart.
The Lord has “held” my heart before, pulling it out and showing me areas that need change, or highlighting work He is doing to conform my heart to His. On this particular night, though, the Lord was smiling as He examined my heart.
As I watched and listened, He said: “I can see My reflection in your heart!”
STILLNESS REVEALS GOD'S REFLECTION
As with water, stillness is required for a reflection to appear. (Proverbs 27:19)
Jesus expected His disciples to see God in Him, saying in John 14:9: “Whoever has seen Me has seen the Father.” The Son of Man was confident that not only was He made in the image of God, but that He was also an "imager" of God: a reflection of who God is.
As we behold the Lord in times of silent, reflective prayer, God transforms us, inscribing His glorious Presence on the tablets of our hearts. Although darkness covers the earth, God expects His glory to be seen upon His children! When we encounter God this way, His glory is written like a letter upon our hearts to be “read” by those who will encounter us.
Those who cultivate a life of stillness and rest through prayer renew themselves. They also become signposts on the busy highway of life for those ‘running to and fro.’ (See Isaiah 30:15 & Daniel 12:4) A maturing soul learns to humble and still itself in the Presence of God, having no ambition other than to live quietly and peacefully in Him. The effect of this behavior is a discernible peace that is attractive to the world.
The most influential people in my life have been the ones who have imparted the strongest sense of peace and love because of their own prayerful relationship with Christ. I longed to be like them! (For stories of people who did this for me, read the minibook: Why Pray?)
STILLNESS RELEASES REVELATION
We often think of prayer as something we do, reciting lists of requests or petitions we or our friends want made to the King of Kings. Our hope in most cases is that when we pray, God will answer by “stilling” the storms that toss us about like battered ships.
Yet Philippians 4 speaks of a peace that soothes and guards our hearts, not necessarily our situations! When anxieties buffet our hearts and minds, prayer becomes a lifeline to the One who calls Himself the “Shepherd and Guardian of our souls.” Prayer is meant to transform us, not God!
One night, one of my sons walked into the bedroom where I had been praying for several hours. The Presence of God was tangible at that moment, and he found me on the floor weeping. He entered cautiously, looking for a goodnight kiss, which I gave him.
To my surprise, as he turned to leave, my son waved his hand and said “Goodnight, Jesus!”
This simple acknowledgement of the Lord’s Presence blessed my heart - but it also blessed the heart of the Lord. That night, my son had a revelatory dream about the coming days.
He was climbing a path around a bell tower which became engulfed in rising waters. The tower began to fall. For a moment he was able to take refuge against the tower wall, wrapping himself in a wave for safety and leaning against the tower as it was quickly swept out to sea.
In the middle of his dream, though, the tower he was leaning on disappeared and fear took hold. Suddenly, he said, there was total stillness.
In the quiet, my son looked down beneath the surface of the water and was immediately captivated by the beauty of the undersea living creatures swimming below. Fear vanished and my son - who normally prefers always to be within sight of land - realized he was not afraid of being out in the deep! An amber-colored “orb” of light appeared in front of my son in the water. Despite the urgency of the moment, he knew God was with him.
The stillness my son encountered, embraced, and acknowledged in an atmosphere of prayer led to a revelation which helped him see that God would be with him in times of trial.
STILLNESS BRINGS RESTORATION
Resting beside quiet waters fills us with joy in God’s Presence and empowers us to return, refreshed, to those around us who need restoration. The peace we find in the Presence of our Shepherd is not confined to one location; it is both portable and transferable!
The same Jesus who nourishes His weary disciples with breakfast by the sea sends them out, restored themselves, to gather, feed, and heal others. Those who know the way to quiet waters will bring others back to meet their Shepherd too!
I hear the Lord saying today: “I want to see My reflection in your heart!” Stillness is your key!
Can those surviving in this storm-tossed world see the peace of God in you? Have you quieted your soul enough that others can “read” the inscriptions of Christ on your heart?
I pray that you will return daily to the place of encountering our Good Shepherd by quiet waters, that you in turn might become Reflectors, Revealers, and Restorers!
~Take time to just "be" with the Lord, who is omnipresent.
~Study the scriptures mentioned in this article (all are are listed below) and reflect on who He is as revealed in each one.
~Pray that people will be drawn to the reflection of Christ in you, their hope of glory!
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A severe hearing loss from childhood caused Deborah Perkins to develop what she now calls her secret weapon: tuning in to God's voice. A Wellesley College graduate and an award-winning writer, Deborah is now a wife and mother of 3 boys. Deborah has devoted over 25 years to professional and lay Christian ministry in New England and beyond. Her passion is inspiring people to cultivate greater intimacy with God.