After reading Exodus 33:19, which declares that the Lord will cause all of His goodness to pass in front of us, I decided my pursuit for the year would be just that—to focus on God’s goodness. In January, I looked to Him for guidance, in February, it was hope and love, and in March, I found goodness in going to Him for strength. This month, my eyes are on His beauty.
What is beauty anyway, especially His beauty? It seems the idea has become so distorted, so focused on outward perfection. And in life we so easily look for the negative, on what’s wrong in the world, in situations, in others, and on our own flaws. Why do we do that? It seems to only suck the joy out of things, out of life, and out of living.
Recently I read One Thousand Gifts by Ann Voskamp. It’s a poetic passage of a dare she was given to look for the good, the beauty in the world, and to make a list—a list of one thousand gifts. What really happened is that it became an unending list that changed her perspective and her life. Her journey changed mine, too, as I took on the dare.
What I learned is that beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. If we look for it, we will find it. It reminds me of when you buy a new car and begin to notice the same model everywhere. Is it that there really are suddenly so many cars around like yours or were they there all along?
When we focus on the negative, discouragement is what we find.
When we seek the positive, beauty is what we discover.
Here are some verses I’m clinging to this month [from the Amplified Bible]:
One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek, inquire for, and [insistently] require: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord [in His presence] all the days of my life, to behold and gaze upon the beauty [the sweet attractiveness and the delightful loveliness] of the Lord and to meditate, consider, and inquire in His temple.
To grant [consolation and joy] to those who mourn in Zion—to give them an ornament (a garland or diadem) of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, the garment [expressive] of praise instead of a heavy, burdened, and failing spirit—that they may be called oaks of righteousness [lofty, strong, and magnificent, distinguished for uprightness, justice, and right standing with God], the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.
1 Peter 3:3-4
Let not yours be the [merely] external adorning with [elaborate] interweaving and knotting of the hair, the wearing of jewelry, or changes of clothes; But let it be the inward adorning and beauty of the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible and unfading charm of a gentle and peaceful spirit, which [is not anxious or wrought up, but] is very precious in the sight of God.