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A woman looking sadly out of a window through the blinds

Reflecting in Difficult Times

Psalm 77 is one of the most intensively reflective of all the psalms. It is also stunningly honest in expressing the psalm writer’s pain, doubt, and lament. This psalm reminds us that honest reflection will sometimes take us to unsettling places. But, as we’ll see tomorrow, it doesn’t leave us there. Still, the example of Psalm 77 encourages us to reflect honestly about all of life, even the difficult parts.

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A man in a suit with his back to the camera looking out contemplatively at a city street

Reflection, Confession, New Creation

The Psalms invite us into prayerful self-reflection. Sometimes they help us to see ourselves as “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14). At other times, however, the Psalms reveal the less-savory parts of ourselves. They summon us to reflect upon our sinfulness. But that’s not the end result. Rather, such honest reflection leads to confession and then to new creation based on God’s steadfast love and mercy. 

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Bees in a blossom

Delight in Creation

God can and does speak to us through creation. Sometimes that speaking comes in specific messages or reminders, like Jesus’ lesson from the lilies that we need not worry. But often our consideration of creation works in us wordlessly, as we simply enjoy the presence and goodness of our creator God through his created world.

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Matthew Dickerson holds a Dolly Varden char

The Extravagant Beauty of Creation

Jesus as well as the ancient Hebrew poets who gave us the psalms take time to admire that lavish beauty of creation, and to see it as a meaningful part of God’s plan—and a pointer back toward the beauty and creativity of God himself. Jesus exhorts us to do so also.

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A row of lit votive candles in the dark at Cologne Cathedral

Self-Reflection and the Prayer of Examen

An article in Harvard Business Review recommends self-reflection for leaders who seek to excel in their work. What they recommend is curiously similar to the centuries-old Prayer of Examen, a Christian practice of daily, prayerful self-reflection. If you’d like to become more self-reflective, perhaps you’ll find the Prayer of Examen to be helpful.

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A stone bench at West Point with the word COMPASSION on the side

An Even More Amazing Kind of Reflection

The fact that human beings can engage in self-reflection is amazing. This is part of what makes us wonderful. But more amazing still is the fact that God knows everything about us. Nothing about us is hidden from God. This could be a terrifying thought were it not for the grace of God in Christ, which invites us into God’s presence and receives us with mercy.

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Children looking with wonder at a tank of sharks

Reflecting on the Wonder of You

According to Psalm 139, we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Our minds and bodies are intricate and beautiful. This is true even though sin has warped the goodness of God‘s creation. When we reflect on the wonder of our creation, we don’t glorify ourselves. Rather, we glorify and adore the God who created us.

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A woman doing sit-ups in a park

Remember the Place You Belong

It would do us well to remember that we are qualified in spite of good or bad circumstances.

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A group of runners in a marathon

Had Enough?

What do we need when we have had enough?

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A log sitting in an overgrown ivy-covered garden

Looking in Reverse

By urging us to deal with the log in our eye before we focus on the specks in the eyes of others, Jesus calls us to self-reflection. As we honestly turn our eyes upon ourselves, we’ll see things we don’t like, “logs” that need to be removed. And we’ll also see things that are delightful, flowers of God’s grace growing in us. Wise reflection will empower us to remove the logs while nurturing the flowers so they might flourish. 

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A man sitting at a table with a Bible in front of him and a thoughtful expression

From Rest to Reflection

Reflection flourishes on the foundation of rest. Or to put it the other way around, rest enables reflection.

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An empty chair sitting on a peaceful lawn

Unwrapping God’s Gift of Rest: A Personal Postscript

There are different ways for us to receive God’s gift of rest. One way involves setting aside time each Sunday for prayerful reflection on the past week. It’s something you might try. 

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