Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. I Corinthians 13:8-13
Taking a crumpled piece of tin foil and making it completely smooth is almost impossible. Invariably the foil tears easily, destroying the edges and even the middle. Attempting to smooth out the creases creates new ones in places that were previously smoother. Looking into this crumpled mess like a mirror reveals a distorted image much like bad change room mirrors or those found in a fun house that are just scary. The resulting reflection will not be anything like true reality. The result is confusion, uncertainty and the need to look in a true mirror to see an accurate picture.
I think about this past year. There has been much that I have not understood. Much that has left me confused, disheartened, discouraged and frustrated. World events have left me shaking my head as more chaos and heartbreak has devastated many. Closer to home, I have watched grief and sorrow worm its way into the hearts of those I love. It has not made sense. It has hurt. I have wondered why. The reflection that I have seen has not been the one that I wanted.
I only know a part of the picture. I have not been given the whole scene. I have not been asked to understand it all. I have just been asked to live my part. I only see a tiny piece of it. I am finding my prayers are more filled with questions. Wondering what God is up to. Asking for Him to show Himself in ways that unmistakably Him. Wondering why certain names and faces appear but knowing that I have to pray for that person. Begging God to intervene dramatically in places that are laid bare and broken.
But completeness is coming. Completeness is not found in my individual skills, talents or understandings. Completeness is all of the pieces coming together, found in Jesus. It’s as if I am a singular puzzle piece and without every piece being accounted for and inserted into the correct spot, the picture is marred, and murky, far from whole.
One day, I will meet Jesus face to face. The tears I have shed will be wiped away. The questions that hurt my heart will be answered in His presence. Pain and suffering will no longer exist. There the reflection from the mirror will pale in comparison with His unending beauty, glory and majesty. Awe and adoration will be my heart’s reaction. I will then understand because I will be in the presence of my Maker.
This Advent season, I pray for a heart that lives expectantly. A heart that lives hopeful. A heart that trusts the hands of the Father to arrange the pieces of my life into a picture that reflects Him.