If you have ever looked out on a newly frozen and undisturbed lake, you’ve witnessed a reflection so pure it’s nearly an illusion. We tend to see these brilliant surfaces in smaller water bodies, where there is less interruption to the process. What a beautiful image this is when we consider how we reflect God’s love. Created in His image, and to be image-bearers, we get to reflect the unique facets of His love.
Yet we will not always reflect this perfect love perfectly. In contrast to a smooth, crystal-clear, ice-coated lake is one which has frozen in shifts — with waves affecting the layers of ice. Or a lake which has frozen, melted, and refrozen in individual sections. This disruptive process leaves a far less reflective appearance. We find a foggy surface with jagged ridges.
Likewise, the shifting winds and waves of our lives can disrupt how we mirror God’s love. From difficult circumstances, we develop coarse edges. Our reflective qualities became cloudy or distorted, skewing our demonstration of God’s love. We become poor image-bearers.
However, in these adverse conditions, we discover God’s mercies! God is able, time and again, to wipe the surface clean — to sand our rough edges and guide us in reflecting His great love to a world in desperate need.
God is ready and willing to redeem our struggles. Perhaps someone standing at the edge of our lives will see those cracks and crevices where circumstances pressed us a little too hard. They will glimpse our hardships and weaknesses and will see the ever-present help of our heavenly Father. They will witness God’s patient work in our lives!
In 1 John 4:16 we read, “God is love.” Not only is He the originator of love, but His very existence is the definition of love! God expounds on His perfect love in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, “Love is patient, love is kind, it is not jealous; love does not brag, it is not arrogant. It does not act disgracefully, it does not seek its own benefit; it is not provoked, does not keep an account of a wrong suffered, it does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; it keeps every confidence, it believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”
We step into dangerous and discouraging territory if we view this Scripture as a to-do list or a scale for how we’re measuring up. Instead, this list is a celebration of what God is doing in and through us! His perfect love is at work, lending radiance to our lives. This process catches the eyes of others, drawing them to God’s saving grace!
God’s love makes all the difference in our lives. Simultaneously, it affects the lives of those around us. Ephesians 3:17-19 says, “…And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” As we grasp a clearer vision of God, we become better image-bearers of His perfect love.