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Written by our guest writer Audrey

As I sit on our back porch praying, I find myself captured by the serenity of the picturesque view of the mountains and lake that surrounds me. My husband and I are very blessed with this time in our marriage to live in the gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains. As I look out at the lake, I notice how still and calm the water is as it reflects an almost perfect image of the mountains and sky that surround it. I’m truly in awe of the beauty of our Master Creator! And, my thoughts immediately jump to a deeper value that can be found in this beautiful scenery—a deeper meaning if you will. I begin to contemplate how the beauty of this scenery relates to the beauty of God’s greatest creation—us, humanity.

In the Bible, God states how He created humans in His likeness. We are created in His image. We reflect God’s image in how we are made. We reflect His beauty similar to how the lake reflects the beauty of the scenery around it. Just as the lake’s image is a beautiful reflection of the original and perfect scenery of the mountains and sky, so are we the beautiful reflection of the original and perfect Creator, God.

As I begin to contemplate this deeper, I reflect on the thought of sin and its power to distort our beauty. I think about what happens when you throw a rock in the lake. It not only disrupts the calmness and peace of the lake but also distorts the image that is being reflected on the water. Likewise, when we throw sin into our lives, our calmness and peace are disrupted and the image of God we reflect is distorted. Our sin, like the rock thrown in the lake, has the power to affect those around us as well. Think about the rock, after it hits the surface of the water it produces ripples that pour out from its origin and affect the image displayed around it. So also, our sin produces ripples that pour out from its origin in us and affects those around us.

But, there is hope in restoring both our peace and image of beauty if only we ask God to forgive us of our sins. When we do this, God restores us once more. This is likened to the lake—once all of the ripples disappear, it is restored to its original beauty and peace.

I also reflect on the power of suffering in our lives. For me, suffering has played a powerful role in my life during this past year. We all face suffering in this life as no servant is greater than his master. It’s how we react to the sufferings we face and choose to use it in our lives going forward that matters in the end.

Looking at the lake, I watch as the current passes through the image of the scenery, ever so slightly affecting the clarity of the reflected image. I believe that to be like sufferings that pass through us in our lives. With each suffering we face, our image and peace become affected. Just as the current can be strong with larger waves or subtle with smaller waves, the sufferings in our lives can be strong and knock us off our feet or subtle and cause us to collect scratches and bruises along the way. Sufferings can affect the clarity of our reflected image. We become broken inside and out as our emotions pour out of us. But even then God is with us and helps us to remain in His love, reflecting His beauty in our hearts and in the reflected image of Him.

God created us in His image. He pours out His love upon us daily. We are His greatest creation! Even greater than the most beautiful lake or mountain! What more could we ask for?! Today it is through the reflected image of the mountains and sky seen in a lake that God reminds me of the greatness He bestows on me as His creation.

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