In 1 Corinthians 13, Paul notes we see puzzling reflections in a mirror in this world. Mirrors 2000 years ago were less accurate than today’s polished affairs, but a reflection is a reflection. It’s a representation, not the whole story.
When I look in a mirror today I see a hairline I wish was further forward, a waistline that seems to expand on a daily basis and a somewhat soggy set of pecs. Whilst this may be physically accurate, it hardly reflects who I am, merely what I look like.
We have the same issue with God. We see only part of the picture, a confusing reflection of God in our lives. We only see one aspect at a time. And He won’t force the rest of His nature on us. We receive from Him what we expect to receive. People who receive financial miracles but seem to be unable to receive healing. Some receive health but not finances. Others can only seem to accept that they will one day live in heaven and put up with salvation while ignoring the rest of what Christ bought us.
We need to learn to pull back from the close-up of the picture we have. Health, prosperity, salvation, Eternal Life are all promised by Jesus as part of His sacrifice, but we don’t allow ourselves to move in all of them. We don’t even see the missing pieces from our lives.
An old schoolmaster of mine many years ago likened our existence to a fly in the Louvre. It lands on the Mona Lisa, but it can’t comprehend the magnificence of the painting as a whole. We live our lives, no matter how big the picture we think we look at, viewing only a tiny fragment of this life. Such is the way of Humanity. Unfortunately, those without a view that includes God think they see the whole story, that all there is is now, and the picture revolves around them. It’s the small minded attitude of a small minded world. Christ adds a new and rich dimension to the view of the world.
The reflections we see are part of a big picture that, like the fly on the painting, we can’t comprehend. We’ll see it one day, and He will give us eternity to wrestle with the enormity of the picture whether we think now is all there is, or whether we know as Paul did they would see the bigger picture in Eternity.
Love is the key. It always is. Jesus’s Love for us led Him to accept the Cross, the beatings and death itself to allow us to see the big picture. Jesus told the disciples in John 14-16 what the big picture was. He also told us what to expect beyond this world. A glimpse of the bigger picture that right now we can’t see.
For after the reflections of this world, we will see face-to-face.