Beauty in Every Phase
Tonight on our way home from a party, my daughter and I were watching the gorgeous sky. I learned something important about seeing beauty in every phase of my life.
We were driving in flat country where we could see far into the horizon on every side. To the northwest we could see a storm moving in and the rain falling from the clouds. In the west the sun was setting sending off gorgeous pink and orange colors. Behind and south of us the sky looked like a typical summer evening with puffy clouds catching the last rays and reflecting colors from the sunset.
We saw rain and a dark angry-looking thunderstorm, a gorgeous sunset, and a peaceful blue sky and clouds all in one grand panorama! It was breathtaking! My daughter asked me to stop the car so she could try to capture it with the camera. So pull over I did.
Back in the car, we kept observing the changes in what we were seeing around and above us.
Suddenly it hit me.
This is what my life looks like to God – he can see the whole scheme of my life, the gray, angry days and the bright, colorful ones. He knows that the storm is just about to break when my limited perspective from inside it thinks it’s going to rage forever. The colors from the sunset are still visible to him even in the rain and storm, but often I fail to see the beauty in a dark season.
He sees the full 360* of our lives and the breathtaking beauty of every phase. It is bright with life and color and meaning. The rain and the sunshine, the colors and the storm – together they paint a scene that points straight to his goodness.
I was struck with how the light and colors from the sunset were reflected in every single part of the sky – in the storm, in the calm, and in the rain. From my vantage point I could see the light in each phase of the weather pattern. It reminded me of the verses where Jesus calls us to be light in the world and then says that light can’t be hidden.
14 “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden.15 Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matt.5)
When I’m groping around in the storm, it can feel like light is the last thing being reflected from me. But it’s not impossible to be in a storm and still reflect the light and beauty of Jesus to those around me! My impossible situation is a place where God can give a spectacular display of his goodness.
We can become so shortsighted in the way we view life, but what I saw last evening encouraged me so much! The entire world from my view was beautiful, but I’m sure that not every place within the weather pattern felt or looked beautiful from inside it. But I could see that the storm was going to move on soon. I knew that the refreshing rain was coming and that peace was on its way.
I believe that’s what God sees when he looks at our lives. He sees hard times and good times, times of growth and times of rest. He knows we are stretched and uncomfortable sometimes, but he sees the peace and strength we’re developing. And I believe the entire picture is beautiful to him. If we could see it the way he does, we’d think the same!
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. (Jer. 29)
These verses now have a picture attached to them in my heart. I’ve known and believed these verses forever, but they have settled into my heart more deeply. He sees, he knows, and he’s a really good Daddy.
Good times bring us courage to plug on thru the hard times.
Hard times strengthen us when we let our roots dig down even deeper into him.
And thru it all – the good, the bad, the ugly, the messy – he’s there. His light is still reflecting off our lives and pointing the world to him.