Sunday, August 6, 2017

Beauty from Ashes

I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.
~Job 42:2

Yesterday, I spotted some beautiful pink flowers from a distance. Their color was so vivid that I found myself kind of staring as I got closer to them. But when I got right next to them, I could see that the edges on most of them were worn and some were even a little brown. They weren't perfect, but they were still absolutely stunning. The storms and wear and tear of every day life had made them ragged around the edges, but their vibrancy and beauty remained.

I thought about those flowers again today. The beauty of them was mesmerizing even though they weren't picture perfect. And they made me think about our Father. We are so rough around the edges. We constantly mess up and often we carry the implications of that. And yet, our Father sees the whole picture. He sees all of us, sin & all, and still sees beauty. He sees and knows everything about us and still sees the beautiful creation that He formed in His image.

He sees and He knows our stories. He knows the dirtiest and the most difficult parts of our journeys, and yet, He never leaves and He still sees a beautiful, beloved child. He sees the whole picture.

Two years ago when I was at rock bottom and a few weeks from checking into eating disorder treatment, I felt defeated. I wasn't clinging to hope. But God knew; God saw the whole picture. He already knew that He was going to redeem my story. He already had every moment planned out. He already knew the beauty that He would cultivate from those ashes.

Every day he continues to amaze me, and every time I think He couldn't possibly leave me in awe more than He already has, and then, He does. I look back and can clearly see His hand in every moment along the way. He was in the storm. He was in the waiting. He never left my side. And while I felt defeated and like a complete failure covered in shame, He saw the whole picture, and He saw beauty. 

Friend, I don't know where you are today. I don't know if you're feeling shame because you've messed up or wandered off the path; I don't know if you're hurting or feeling alone because of a storm you are walking through, or if you're feeling desperate in a season of waiting, but I do know this: there is hope. Cling to it. God has a plan for you and it can't be thwarted. We can only see the here and now, but He sees the whole picture, and in Romans 8:28, He promises to work it for good. 

God created you just as you are, and no matter where you are right now, there is always beauty because God created you. He has a great purpose for your life. I know that can be hard to trust and believe; I promise you I know that all too well. But I also know this: what He has planned for each of us is infinitely better than what we ever could have envisioned. I'm so thankful I didn't get to plan it all because I certainly wouldn't be where I am now, and I would have missed so much. There is nothing beyond His redemption; we never know how He can take our rough edges and transform them into something beautiful.


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