For God is sheer beauty, all-generous in love, loyal always and ever. Psalms 100:5 (MSG)
I don’t know about you, but there are times that I find it very challenging to see the beauty. We are currently living in a craaazzzzy world. Opinions, rules, mandates, fears, even hysteria are flying all over the place. Shaming those that choose to be different is becoming more prevalent. We live in a prickly society. So, with each day, I have to choose to focus on the beauty. Not just the beauty of my environment, my family, my life, but the beauty of who God is. God is the definition of beauty. So, when things get crazy, confusing, tumultuous, shame-based, nonsensical, I can still rise up in courage because of God’s beauty! All the prickly words and demands cannot change the beauty of God. He is still love. He is still loyal ( which btw, is an attribute many of us are losing) He is the strength that pushes through the thorns and stands strong. He brings beauty to the pain, and when I am able to focus on His beauty, the other stuff fades away; it is less prominent in my daily life.
If I look back over the history of our country, I do ask myself how some people were able to do this? How did those experiencing the Holocaust move forward and thrive? Some of them did. How did the survivors of 911 find beauty again in their daily lives? Some have. How do people like Elizabeth Smart, a young girl that was kidnapped from her bedroom and held hostage for months enduring sexual abuse, how did she find beauty again? She did. I think they were all able to rise up through the horrible pain and focus on the beauty. They pressed through. They didn’t give up or give in. They willed themselves to live differently and believe that God was loyal to them and loved them.
I know there are exceptions. Not everyone makes this choice. But, I want to. I want to rise above the painful, prickly, shameful state of where I see our nation leaning, and focus on the incredible life giving beauty of God. I want to see my children choose the same thing, and those around me. I want to live in His beauty despite the circumstances. Those who are Beauty seekers will be pressed to comply to discord, yet beauty will prevail. It may look as if the thorns are going to overtake the one beautiful thing that stands out, but that is a lie. Beauty cannot be squelched. It is every prevailing, always loving, forever loyal. In the end, when we feel that we can be pressed no more, the beauty rises up and brings our pain into a blossoming hope.
Beauty resides in our focus.3