They made the bronze basin and its bronze stand from the mirrors of the women who served at the entrance to the tent of meeting. Exodus 38:8 NIV
Have you ever read a Scripture, and realized that the words you’ve seen time after time have never really impacted you? I felt that shock of surprise recently as I was studying the building of the ancient Tabernacle in the book of Exodus. The Lord had asked His people to bring many items and offer them to be used for the building of His holy dwelling place among them. But this one little verse escaped my attention through so many previous readings. I did a little research in Bible commentaries (the link is here if you want to search for yourself,) and found that the mirrors were precious items carried by the women during those days of wandering in the wilderness. Polished bronze would have shown them the only image of how they looked, how their faces were portrayed. But the women who served the Lord and His people offered their only way to view themselves. And how did the priests make use of those precious bits of their daily lives? The molten bronze was fashioned into a basin where the priests cleansed themselves before they offered the sacrifices that would bring God’s holiness to His people.
Are you seeing the beautiful symbolism yet?
The surrender was not lost on me this week, as the Lord asked me to ponder my own way of looking at myself.
During this season of Lent, I am reading Kris Camealy’s book, Holey, Wholly, Holy and her words struck a tender spot in my heart, even as I was contemplating those women surrendering their mirrors and their perspectives on themselves. She speaks of a confession that goes beyond conviction of sinning. There is a place for full confessing of all the doubts and terrors that fill our souls. It is there He loosens the hold where sin has bound us, and frees us to see HIS grace now covering us.
And I found myself weeping before the Lord as He brought His own mirror before me, and showed me the difference between what He sees when He looks at me, and how I have viewed myself.
My doubts and struggles were poured out before Him then in a surrender that I had not expected to find.
Words that I had tucked deep inside my heart were suddenly gushing to the surface as they could no longer be hidden away, and a dark cloud was lifted that I had not even realized was there.
Years ago, as a young teenager, God spoke beautiful words into my heart and over my life as I read the story of the young teen Jeremiah:
The word of the Lord came to me, saying,
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
“Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.”
But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.
Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “I have put my words in your mouth. Jeremiah 1:4-9 NIV
I longed to follow after the Lord, and be willing to speak the words that He gave me to share. But somewhere along the way, I heard a phrase uttered, “Oh, that person is just too heavenly minded to be any earthly good!” And something settled in my soul. I heard myself asking God,
“Is that me, God? Is that why my words are not heard? It MUST be me.”
I tucked away my own stories of God’s faithfulness, preferring instead to listen to all the other great stories around me. And, oh, how I love a good story! I had no problem telling ALL the stories that other people shared with me. I loved to listen to the hearts of other people.
Somewhere along the way, I listened to a lie about myself, and let that lie take root.
Perhaps you know what that feels like?
But one day a few years ago, God began stirring the embers in my heart, and asked me to step out in obedience to begin sharing my own journey here, in these blogging pages. What gracious and beautiful hearts I have met through these pages! What joy I have found in beautiful souls that love the Lord Jesus with all their hearts! And, yet, a fear remained, every time the “publish” button had to be clicked. Every time I sent out another story, that ugly voice simmered in the dark corners of my heart . . .
Is it me God? Am I too heavenly minded to be any earthly good? Should my own voice be quiet?
Just days after I read of the Bronze Mirrors, dear friends came to visit us. And as we prayed together, they shared a message the Lord had laid on their hearts for me.
“God wants to set your voice free. This is a new place where He is going to call forth your voice.”
How could they have known the very words that God himself had been prodding in my heart? In the quiet I heard HIS whisper, asking me to surrender my own bronze mirror, asking me to lay down my own perspectives, and let Him wash my eyes clean with His own holiness.
From that whisper, came a call to freely give Him my voice, and share these words with you, spoken from my heart:
lie slithered along the floor where
sound of darkness
i let it stay
bid it go
hardly knew when
it came to live
sound of darkness
questioning who i
then hidden words
another had let the darkness
now lies swirled over
joined entwined in darkness
twisting weed grew
a flame kindled
hissing tried to
LORD of light shining
lies fled when
truth sounded song
love won secret heart
drew in beautiful
true heart no
HEAVEN IS SINGING
If your own eyes have been looking in a bronze mirror, and you have found yourself questioning a lie that has been spoken over you, I pray that these words the Lord drew from my heart would bless you today my friend. Jesus refines and He washes with a Holiness that brings us His Truth and Life.
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