Beautiful Things

Last summer, boredom and loneliness drove me from my house straight into a deserted reservoir.  In the seclusion of this forgotten place I soon began to find the unique beauty of my hideaway.  As I meandered through my secret hideaway I discovered the peace of nature.  The birds swooped down.  Rabbits scurried from one bush to the next as they tried to escape my eyes.  I watched as spring become summer and then fall.  The grass turned green.  The flowers bloomed.  The colors turned from bright pinks and yellows to warm orange and red.

I couldn't wait to escape the day on my evening walks through the reservoir.  Many times I would stay out well past dark just drinking in the magic of my place.

In reality, my magical hideaway is just a huge drainage ditch that runs along the back of our property catching any flood water from the Arkansas River.  But to me, that huge ditch was a beautiful place for my mind to find quiet.  It become a beautiful place to me.

It's interesting how God takes similar ditches in our lives and makes them places of beauty.  

Overwhelmed by the times and places in my life that were filled with pain, hate, and ugliness I wonder how those places could every be beautiful.  Just their memory still causes me to doubt myself. But somehow, someway, God takes these times of intense grief and makes them beautiful to him.

Ecclesiates 3:11 says, "He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end." That's so like Christ taking everything that the enemy means for evil in our life and turning it around for good...those dead, dry memories in our lives and uses them to bring Him glory.

There's no way to completely understand God and His sovereignty.  He works in ways we cannot see or understand, but we have this assurance that He is working.  He's taking the drainage ditches in our lives and plants beautiful flowers in them.  He's taking the overgrown, dark path and clears the branches making an easy path for us to follow.  He's working all things for our good.

Today, I leave you with this.  Look for the beauty in the ugly.  Find the joy in the sadness.  Discover the comfort in the pain.  Though difficult to find, it's there.  It's waiting to point you back to Christ and to His ability to restore your heart.

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