Mar 12, 2012

Beauty within life's shambles

Have you ever heard the statement " His/Her life is in shambles?" A loss of a job can bring a financial shamble. A loss of a spouse can cause emotional,physical as well as financial shambles. A person suffering from a health issue or an addiction can also cause a person's home life, relationships and finances to shambles. There are many reasons this statement can ring true in a person's life.

So where is the beauty you may ask? The old saying "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" comes to my mind.The job you lost,the company was going under and God removed you before it all came to blows. The spouse you lost, well God knew that through you he or she would come to know him before their time here was done . For the one suffering from an addiction, through their recovery process, they healed from many emotional scars from their past and are now able to witness to those who are struggling with the same addictions.

The beauty comes through healing, restoration, and forgiveness,which comes from God's wonderful mercy and grace.

Romans 8:28 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,who have been called according to his purpose."

What the devil meant for evil, God will turn to good! There is beauty in all situations, and that beauty is the Lord's work in us and through us. We must learn to recognize the beauty through all life's shambles (mess).
This picture is actually titled "Shambles". However when I look at it, I don't focus on the damages to this old barn. If I did that, I would see the weather damaged boards, the rusted roof, and the holes in the walls. Instead I see a piece of history, someones history. It could be the last barn that little Johnny's grandpa ever built. It could be where little Sally and her friends played hide and seek in the fields surrounding it. When I look at this picture I can feel the warm sun on my back and the soft wind blowing around me. I can hear children laughing. I can see life.  I see peace and the joy of someones life stories. I see a place that holds memories.

When God looks at our life, he doesn't look at our "damages", he looks at the "beauty"

Isaiah 61:3 " To console those who mourn in Zion,to give them beauty for ashes,the oil of joy for mourning,the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; That they may be called tress of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified."

Look in the mirror. What do you see? Do you see a face lined with wrinkles? Maybe you see "crows" feet around your eyes. Maybe you see eyes that once shone with the brightness of hope but now are dull with the stress of life. Do you see slumped shoulders that have lost all self esteem? Do you see a shell instead of a body?

When our  Daddy God looks at us  through his "mirror" , he sees wisdom in those wrinkels. He sees eyes that now dance to a differnet song. He sees shoulders that have carried the weight of the world for those they love. He sees a body that is still standing in spite of all the wordly battles it has fought.  He can see where his grace and mercy carried you. He can see where his love shielded you. He can see where the touches of his hands have healed you. He can see where his forgivness has made you whole. He sees the BEAUTY!

No matter how many times we fall down in this life or how many mistakes we have made, God still sees the beauty in us all!! God doesn't  look at outside appearances. He doesn't look at our weather damaged boards, nor does he look at the holes in the walls or even the rust on our roofs,and he doesn't look at our mistakes or broken promises,  He sees the heart! The truth that lies within the heart, he sees the beauty of the ashes! Out of our ashes, he brings forth HIS light and love. Through it all he restores, he heals, he makes all thing new!!!

I encourage you all that through all the "ashes" in your life, take another look. I promise you if you look hard enough, you will see where the footprints of God walked through those ashes. You will see the beauty that came from your "shambles" and the light of Jesus that led the way!!

Much love~

* Photo credit: Images in the back

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