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Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

I lift up my eyes to the hills—from where will my help come? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

Psalm 121:1-2

My eyesight is not the best. That’s why I always take a portable magnifying mirror with me when I travel. The one I use is only 4-inches in diameter and, with two small suction cups on the back, adheres easily to any bathroom or dresser mirror. (Gosh, I sound like a commercial!)

During a recent trip to visit family in New Mexico, I stuck my little mirror on the dresser mirror in the guest room upon arrival. Though I only used it once (who needs to wear makeup when visiting family?), I knew where it was.

However, when I went to pack for my return trip home, I was surprised to discover that my mirror was missing. Sometimes the suction cups fail causing the mirror to fall, but it was not on top of the dresser or underneath it. Perhaps I had moved it to the bathroom.

My eyes scanned the long, horizontal mirror in the bathroom I was sharing with the two little boys, but it wasn’t there either. Maybe I had already packed it?

I knelt on the floor in front of my suitcase and started rummaging through my make-up bag, my hair bag, and my toiletries bag. When I couldn’t locate the mirror, I started to unpack my clothing thinking I had inadvertently thrown it into the suitcase. But this task proved fruitless, and the mirror remained missing.

Might I dare consider that 4-year-old James had taken it? He might have borrowed it, but I didn’t want to accuse him of stealing since this cheap little mirror could easily be replaced with a trip to the drugstore. Besides, the stuffed bunny James treasured had gone missing the day before I arrived. Though we had turned the house upside down in search of it, we still had not found it. If James had taken my mirror, there was no telling where it might be.

Exasperated, I decided to give up and repack my suitcase.

I knelt back down on the floor in front of the chaos I had made and allowed my eyes to glance up once more at the dresser mirror. And there it was! My small makeup mirror was exactly where I had placed it five days earlier. How had I missed it?

I’ll tell you how: I missed it because I wasn’t looking high enough.

Jesus healed a blind man who was then brought before the Pharisees—the legalistic ruling arm of the Sanhedrin that strictly enforced Mosaic law. Because Jesus performed the miracle on the Sabbath, Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath” (John 9:16). They, too, were not looking high enough.

Later, when Jesus tells his disciples that he must be killed but will be raised to life on the third day, Peter rebukes him, saying, “This shall never happen to you!” (Matthew 16:22) Peter wasn’t looking high enough either.

And when Judas betrays Jesus with a kiss (Mark 14:44-45), we can safely say that he certainly wasn’t looking high enough!

We are all capable of missing the mark when we take our eyes off Jesus.

Lift up your eyes to the heavens, look at the earth beneath; the heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment and its inhabitants die like flies. But my salvation will last forever, my righteousness will never fail. (Isaiah 51:6)

I don’t mean to insinuate that I would have found my mirror sooner had I called on God for help. What I’m saying is that my failure to see it when it was right in front of me served as a reminder to keep looking up. I have been known to walk blindly through each day with little regard for God’s presence. Yet He is always there, ever present, ever faithful. You have said, “Seek my face.” My heart says to you, “Your face, Lord, do I seek.” (Psalm 27:8)

The day after I got home to Virginia, I received a text message from my niece informing me that James had found his stuffed bunny. It was in the toy box in his bedroom—a place we had looked several times. “How did he find it this time?” I asked. The next text said it all:

THE SONG THAT COMES TO MIND IS Turn Your Eyes by Sovereign Grace.

Lyrics: “Turn your eyes upon Jesus… And the things of earth will grow strangely dim.”

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