Beautiful Things

I am a writer. I write daily about everything.  Writing is how I process life.  Just ask those who text me on a regular basis; my texts often turn to novels:)  However, when I am writing about things that aren’t beautiful, pure, lovely, or excellent (Philippians 4:8), then I (mostly) don’t publish them on my blog.  While I want my blog to be transparent, authentic, and real- about real life, real people, and real struggles – there’s only so much dirty laundry one can or should air (in my opinion:).

A few weeks ago I gave up and quit publishing to my blog.  I regret it.  I wish I’d kept going, sharing what I could for His glory.  I wish I hadn’t allowed busyness, stress, and insecurity to creep in and stop me from publishing and sometimes writing.

But, I did.

The amazing thing about life and our Savior is that we get second chances.  We fail.  We stumble.  We break down. We pray. We lean into God and friends.  They pick us up.  They carry us.  We regain our footing.  (We often repeat these steps…again and again.)

And, second chances are for ALL of us – the sinner and the sinned against.

Still, do you ever have those moments when you ask God, “why, why, why?”  Why did this happen?  Why is he/she so successful?  Why is everyone’s life so neat and wonderful and mine’s a mess? Why is she so skinny?  (Ok, that’s mine.)  If someone has wronged you, you want that person to pay, to suffer, to feel remorseful.  You ask God, “How could you let this happen?  To me? To him? To her?”

I have been asking some of these questions to my friend, Angie, and as we’ve processed and journeyed together, here’s what she shared with me…It all began with God taking me on a journey to realize that he could use a broken person like me; that he created me; and that I’m fearfully and wonderfully made.  Then leading me on to see that in people around me.  It is quite easy to see beauty in people close to me, people I love.  However, to see the world through God’s eyes I have to see the beauty in each person I come into contact with here on earth – even when the beauty is yet to be displayed from them.  I have to look at those who have wronged me or hurt the people I love and ask God to show me the hearts he designed in them.  I have to look through their brokenness just as Christ looked through mine.

It’s so hard  “to see the beauty in people …to see the world through God’s eyes…even when the beauty is yet to be displayed in them.”  So, I want to share Angie’s prayer with you – a prayer from her heart as she strives to be His hands and feet.

 

This is Angie’s prayer:

Dear Lord,

Thank you for taking my hand in this journey – for having an outstretched arm ready for me to grab a hold of.  While I long for the day in which you return, I continue to pray that I seek your knowledge and guidance daily to be your hands and feet here on earth.

Life here on earth is full of chaos – broken people in a broken world.  At times I get so entangled by the sin surrounding me and in me that I can’t see beyond it.  In those times I have to remind myself that I am simply looking through my own stained lenses.  I call out to you, Lord, and ask to get a glimpse of how you see us. 

Recently you led me to the song “Beautiful Things” by Gungor, in which the following words impacted my soul:

You make beautiful things

You make beautiful things out of dust

You make beautiful things

You make beautiful things out of us

I know anything that is seen as beautiful in me Lord comes directly from you.  Psalm 103:14 says, “for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.” 

You know that we struggle, that we fail you, that in the times when we need you we often hide in shame.  You know when we falsely judge others or seek our own selfish desires.  You know every intimate detail about me, every thought, every motive, every hair on my head. 

Yet, you remain. 

You remain beside me, waiting for me to learn not to hide from you but instead to run to you.  You remember I am but dust.  Let my broken offering be an example of your unconditional love and unending grace.

You created us in your image – every one of us.  So when you look at us, you see what you desired to create in each one of us. 

Isaiah 61:3 – “to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.”

Thank you for loving me past my pile of ashes, for opening my heart and soul to your truth in the Bible.  Thank you for giving me a glimpse of the garden you see growing here on earth.  A garden whose vine is you, whose roots come from your word.  Thank you for planting amazing examples of a Christ-like character all around me.  Oaks of righteousness – may we each desire to be oaks of righteousness. 

You make me new; you are making me new…

 

New.  God is making each of us new every day if we allow Him to.  Our world is broken, but we don’t have to sit and simmer in the brokenness.  We can read his Word, pray, seek Godly wisdom, and choose to view the brokenness as God views it.

May each of you see others today as the image bearers of a loving, sovereign God who reigns in the brokenness.

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