Looking back at 2019 : Reflection vs Refraction

And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.  2 Cor. 3:18


Wow! Tomorrow is 2020.  I remember as a young teenager in the 1970’s thinking about the future and the promises of a futuristic world.  Flying cars, Jetsons-style living (we do have a robot vacuum).  But not a lot has changed in our own lives.  We deal with the highs and lows experienced during 2019.

Reflection vs Refraction

As we look back on our failures and pains of 2019 I want us to consider the difference between reflecting and refracting those thoughts.  Reflection is when all the light is reflected back from a surface into your eyes.  You see yourself clearly.  In reflecting on the pain issues of 2019 we can allow these thoughts to define and harden our failures.  We can continue to believe there is no hope for improvement.  Refraction is when light passes through a surface or is directed away from your eyes.  The full image is not reflected back to us but passes through the surface or is reflected away.


He takes our failures and pains and lovingly, works in our hearts to help us grow past the pain of another failure into repentance, acceptance of forgiveness.  The Holy Spirit walks with us and daily helps us move past the fallen traits and uses the experience to build endurance and faith in Christ.


Philippians 3:13-14

13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.


From “My Upmost for His Hightest”

Security from Yesterday. “God requireth that which is past.” At the end of the year we turn with eagerness to all that God has for the future, and yet anxiety is apt to arise from remembering the yesterdays. Our present enjoyment of God’s grace is apt to be checked by the memory of yesterday’s sins and blunders. But God is the God of our yesterdays, and He allows the memory of them in order to turn the past into a ministry of spiritual culture for the future. God reminds us of the past lest we get into a shallow security in the present.

Our yesterdays present irreparable things to us; it is true that we have lost opportunities that will never return but God can transform this destructive anxiety into a constructive thoughtfulness for the future. Let the past sleep, but let it sleep on the bosom of Christ.

Abrams calls on God after a failure

I read in my devotions this morning about Abram taking his wife to Egypt because of the famine.  Sarai was very beautiful and Abram thought he would be killed if they knew they were married. So he lied.  Sarai was taken by the Pharaoh. But God intervened and saved Sarai. Abram was exposed by Pharaoh for his lie.  They left Egypt and camped in Bethel.  With that failure fresh in his memory Abram sacrificed to God and called on His name.  Instead of reflecting this failure he called upon God and that sinful failure was a refraction and not a reflection on Abrams future.

Meditate on these scriptures:


Lamentations 3:22-23 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning;  great is your faithfulness.

2 Corinthians 5:17  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

Philippians 1:6 being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.

Psalms 51:10-12  Create in me a pure heart, O God,     and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.  Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

Titus 3:5-7  he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,  whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior,  so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.

Get ready to shine your lightnside for 2020!

Don’t get stuck reflecting on your past failures and problems.  Allow God’s word, His grace, Christ’s Blood, and the Holy Spirits’ power be a refraction to those failures and use them to strengthen your walk with Christ in 2020.

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