Photo Credit: Sandy Keith Robertson
Last weekend I was on vacation with my family at Daytona Beach. Sun, sand, waves: serenity. On the first morning I awoke early at 6:30 a.m. I put on my clothes, grabbed my cup of coffee, and headed downstairs and out the door to view a local attraction, no money needed. As I arrived on the beach, there were a few other people with the same idea, cameras in hand. It was cloudy and overcast, but I was determined to wait and see the sun rise, quietly over the crashing waves. A brilliant red-orange ball of fire, bursting through the horizon! In my lifetime, the sun has risen and lighted my day over 17,000 times. A constant reminder of God’s faithfulness. “From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the LORD is to be praised!” (Psalm 113:3) On the second morning, I arose early again, went into my daughter’s room, and whispered “Sarah, wake up”. She rolled over and said “Is it worth it”? She closed her eyes and chose to stay horizontal a couple more hours. I went out the door, downstairs, and back to the bench I sat at the morning before to view God’s wonder. “Yes, it was worth it, ” I thought.
It was worth my sacrificing an hour or more of sleep to see the sunrise. What a way to start my day in the stillness, only hearing the sound of the waves. Her question, though quite simple, pricked my conscience that morning. Count me in as a sun gazer. But am I a Son Gazer? Do I long to see Jesus? Do I get up early to anticipate meeting him in the stillness? Staring at His glory in awe, falling down and worshipping Him before my day goes from quiet to noisy in 60 minutes. Cooking breakfast, ironing school uniforms, hurrying my children out the door, and rushing off to school, 40 minutes away. I confess I fail many times at meeting with the Son at sunrise. Lord help me to adore you more. Those two mornings I arose early to see the sunrise, clouds were in the way, and I was disappointed that I didn’t get a full awestruck view. I knew the sun was still there, but clouds interfered. It reminded me of the following verses:
“ But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. Nevertheless, when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.” ( 2 Corinthians 3: 15-18)
We’re all born with veil covered hearts. The veil, like the clouds blocking the sunrise, prevents us from knowing God and understanding His word. But when we turn to face the Son, believing in our hearts the gospel, He snatches away the veil and we receive His light rushing into our once darkened hearts. “For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” ( 2 Corinthians 4: 6)
Once the veil has been removed, and we see his glory, the transformation work begins. The transformation’s purpose is to be like Christ. Light bearers. Mirrors of His glory. When people see us, they are to see God’s image. This is to attract them to the Light. Not the physical light blinding glory that Moses, Peter, James, John, and Paul experienced. But the inward character traits of the fruit of the Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-Control. We cannot be Christ-like without first worshipping and adoring Him in the quiet and stillness. Watching the Son rise in our hearts, as we die to self, daily. We pick up his Word, like a mirror ,and hold it up to our hearts as we read it . We ask the Holy Spirit to transform us to be like Jesus, and plant the fruit of the Spirit in our lives.
Like the mirror- like building above, we are meant to reflect God’s Light, and His image. The image you see on this building is the reflection of other objects in close proximity. The beauty of the building is only in the reflection of the objects, outside of itself. Without the image it reflects, it would be rather ordinary and just a building. But as a reflector, it shows true beauty. When we behold God’s glory, and walk in His light, His image and character begins to grow in our hearts. People around us will start to see God’s reflection, (peace, love, joy, kindness, patience) because we’ve been with God, face-to-face. Our self-will and sin nature will die a slow death, as we are transformed into His image. God wants us to be Son Gazers, and Son Reflectors.
We can’t be Son Reflectors without first spending time gazing at the Son, in His presence daily. It’s only when we reflect His light back outward, onto the paths of those around us, that they get a glimpse of the Son, and the veil starts to move on their hearts. The more light they see, the more attracted they are to the Son, and they start to turn toward the Light Giver, and He reaches to their heart to lift the veil.