I’m not sure what makes today different from any other day, but when I woke up this morning I was deeply glad to be alive, and had a greater sense of how blessed I am than I do most of the time. I love those sorts of mornings. =)
At every opportunity, there is so much to feel badly about or to wish were different. I know so many people who have been through a great deal of sadness or stress recently, or who are going through such at present. I have my own sources of stress that can be draining at times. Yet it is incredible to me that, although the world is full of conflict, difficulties and darkness, we don’t have to be consumed by the negative. We could stare hard into the darkness until it transforms and mutilates the soul. Or, we can be illuminated by the incredible, all-encompassing glory of God.
This morning I arose more aware of that glory than usual. It is like a light that cannot be extinguished- a light that radiates into the darkness, and that creates warmth and glow wherever it travels. It is a reminder of how good God is and always will be. It is a transforming agent, too, as it draws out the best in people, and compels them to higher things: it inspires, encourages, uplifts, builds up, makes new, and makes beautiful.
A day doesn’t have to be different to be beautiful. It needs God. Seeking Him and finding Him yields a source of refreshment and joy, as well as life.
Not every day do I realize just how great God is toward myself, and my friends and family. We are not owed happiness: material, spiritual or other. We are all deserving of the opposite, and yet how amazing it is that God is gracious enough to extend His love toward us. It is a core part of Christian theology, so often reiterated- but it is central because it tells us how God relates to us, and that He has our best interests in mind. Love is inseparable from who God is, was and will forever be. Love blesses, and it beautifies.
I wish everything made beautiful by that love, including my outlook, and the way I live. Beauty reflects the visible and invisible characteristics of God. Beauty is often discernible. We are called to show others, discernibly, that God’s nature is good, kind, gentle, truthful, upright, just, purpose-filled and whole.
I see beauty in the shape of a rose, in a smile and in laughter. I see beauty in the breeze. Yet I don’t always notice these things with the same intense awareness. If it takes effort to be conscious of all the discernible revelations of beauty in the world that are placed there on His behalf, how much harder it is to live as one! Yet God wants to beautify our souls, and make us a living, continuous act of beauty on His behalf. He desires to bring light to a black canvas.
Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.” – John 8:12, NLT
Art Credit: the BBC’s Emma, 2009
P.S. Sorry to my e-mail subscribers that got a post notification twice! 😉 I accidentally clicked “publish” before I was done writing.