There are countless ways - whether through words, adjectives, images, and probably to include a few hand gestures, grunts, and sounds (yikes!) to describe 2020. And I do think it's all valid and within reason, considering everything that has transpired and continues to transpire this year. However, as we quickly approach the holiday season and inch closer to rounding out this year, I cannot shake these words that are continually brought back to my remembrance. No matter where I turn, what challenge or uncertainty I face, how complicated the situation, and even for those moments of victory, ease, and rejoicing, I cannot escape these words, beautiful things. I keep running into it, as if I am marked and literally hemmed in from every side, from the top of my head to the soles of my feet and washed over and over again in the truth that God makes all things beautiful - in His time and in His perfect, good and sovereign ways.
In the natural, how seemingly oxymoronic or paradoxical, but it is still true. Beautiful things are a reality and made possible because of the nature and character of God, HE IS GOOD, and HE ONLY DOES GOOD.
God's goodness is not dependent upon us, our behavior, or any external circumstances. His goodness also does not mean we are entitled to and will be given a life free of pain, trials, loss, hardships, and difficulties. On this side of heaven (earth), we will experience the consequences and effects of sin as a result of a broken world yet to be fully restored. So we eagerly await that day when all things will be made right and perfected. However, Jesus Christ came to rescue us not only for a future hope of what is to come but so we can have a present hope for the here and now through a relationship with God the Father who is real and present.
God's good nature that does not change and cannot change gives us assurance and anchors our soul that because He is good, no matter what happens, it's going to be okay. There is a purpose to all things, and beautiful things can and will spring forth at the right time. God's goodness gives me the confidence that I am not alone. He will faithfully walk with me through life, and I can rest in knowing that I am being led on the right and good path because He is good, and it's for HIS NAMESAKE. God can do all things, but there is one thing He cannot do, He cannot go against his nature and character. Simply put, he cannot do anything less than good and loving because that is WHO HE IS, GOOD and LOVING.
So for all that 2020, particularly this global pandemic, has brought into our lives and surfaced what was already there, I keep hearing in my spirit, BEAUTIFUL THINGS. I dare not minimize or diminish the despair, destruction, distress, disappointment, discouragement, and sadly for some, the sting of death many have experienced, currently experiencing, and will experience. Yet even still, we don't have to live in that place forever. The God who created the heavens and the earth and sustains it by his spoken word is the same God that fashioned, formed, purposed, and breathed HIS LIFE into our lungs, is the same God who defeated sin and death, and conquered the grave, and rose back to LIFE. God is the One who wills, enables, and makes all things beautiful.
It is true and needs to be acknowledged that yes, the circumstances may not be beautiful. The pain and experience may actually be awful and terrible and nowhere close to anything lovely and beautiful. However, what if "beautiful" is a hidden treasure that is disguised and while it may appear and look very different than what we would naturally choose to depict as beauty, but yet Jesus is still calling and inviting us to live in a new kind of way, a beautifully broken, redeemed and renewed kind of way. A kind of beauty that is birth (or rebirth) and formed from the inside out - fully alive, awakened, and free to be who we were always meant to be. A kind of beauty that takes what would generally be discarded and written off because of shame, guilt, pride, or dismissed according to the standards of this world. But yet it's repurposed and re-presented as something beautifully redemptive and wholly hopeful because of the healing touch of Jesus Christ. And then that beauty is put on full display to radiate the glory and majesty of God and point a desperately broken and hurting world to a wonderful and beautiful Savior.
What if? What if there is more beautiful and beauty to experience, display, and lived? What if beautiful, wholly holy things are best birth out of the wilderness, pain, disappointments, detours, loss, and even death? What if all things can be made beautiful but only if and when that thing and that thing may be our very own lives are completely yielded and surrendered over to a faithful, good, loving, and all-powerful God.
I believe Jesus Christ is inviting us to live in accordance with a new kind of beautiful. Not a beautiful that is free of faults, failures, scars, and fears. Not an airbrushed, beautiful perfect life. And in case you haven't already realized, there is no perfect life. However, we do have a PERFECT FATHER and SAVIOR, and for those reasons, we can embrace and live from a new kind of beautiful that is being daily perfected and sanctified by grace and through the indwelling work of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus, who is only perfect, has made way for us to join in on this kind of beautiful new life. So friend, as we close out 2020 and enter into a new year, let's be brave and courageous, filled with hope and faith. Choosing to live daily from the GOODNESS OF GOD and see how he can turn all things not only for our good according to His purposes but also make life's mysteries divinely and miraculously beautiful.