No doubt that taking time to reflect on certain issues and aspects of life are beneficial to the maturing process. Surely advancing in spiritual maturity requires continual recall and application of God’s Word to the circumstances of life. It is interesting that God the Holy Spirit had one of the writers of Scripture record his vain pursuits of what may be classified as the details of life, all which could be considered legitimate, but which failed to bring him happiness and fulfillment in life.
King Solomon wrote his summation of the years spent out of the will of God … "Vanity of vanities! All is vanity" (Eccl. 1:2 NASB). He labeled those wasted years as meaningless, useless and empty. He had forgotten his father’s instruction and prayer … “Show me your ways , O LORD, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long” (Ps. 25:4-5 NIV). After recovering spiritually from his waywardness, Solomon concluded Ecclesiastes with this advice … “Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man” (Eccl. 12:13b KJV. The king’s reflections and wisdom would result in his proverbs becoming a part of the permanent Canon of Scripture.
A similar scenario was given by our Lord of the son who left his home and went into a far country to live his life as he chose. This Jewish young man ended up in the hog pen until … “he came to his senses” (Luke 15:17 NIVa). Both of these men demonstrated God’s faithfulness to pursue those who are his and have them restored to fellowship with the Heavenly Father.
But God’s grace is also seen in Biblical characters whose reflection of soul brought much joy and peace into their present circumstances. Mary’s thoughts in response to Elizabeth’s proclamation of praise are recorded by Dr. Luke … "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior” (Luke 1:46-47 NKJV). This was not an attitude of boasting or of superiority over other women. Rather she was reflecting in gratitude and humility upon all that God had accomplished in bringing about the birth of the Savior. Scripture records that … “Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart” (Luke 2:19 NASB).
The Apostle Paul describes a treasured reflection in one of his epistles. Privileged to carry the gospel through vast territories of the Roman Empire and even beyond, he is reminded of the thousands of individuals who have come to believe that Christ died for the Cross, was buried and raised again all in accordance with Scripture. That was the gospel that he had faithfully preached to the people in Corinth. There was no need to brag or boast on the success of his ministry. The gospel preached to the Corinthians was being carried to others by those who had responded in faith to the message of Paul. “You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts” (2 Cor 3:2-3 NIV).
What treasured reflections must have flooded the Apostle’s soul as he awaited execution? From death row he would write … “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing” (2 Tim. 4:6-8 NKJV).