"How in the world could you think this is beautiful?" I asked myself as I threw back the shutters to drink in the view as I sipped my coffee. "Briars aren't meant to be beautiful."
But they can be.
My eyes insisted the unlikely was true. The entire forest, including the prickly bushes and serpentine vines, was a lovely testament that the most unpleasant of things can have beauty. Upon close scrutiny, the vines added verdant green to the brown tree trunks to which they clung, and random, tiny white flowers peppered some of the thorniest of brambles.
Isn't it just like our Lord to permit the thorns and thistles of Adam's curse to contain tiny reminders of God's love? And isn't it just like Him to allow beauty to be a part of our worst circumstances? Things like sickness, loss, and sin, while perhaps not God's first choice for our lives, are sprinkled with elements of beauty. I've experienced times of stillness and spiritual refreshing during bouts of sickness. I've felt God's presence in the tenderest of ways amid painful loss. And I've had Jesus take my deepest sin to reveal to me His amazing love and mercy. These things, the nettles and burrs, are part of the landscape of my life just as much as the stout trees, the plantings of the Lord, the things designed to bless and beautify.
When I throw back the shutters and look into my life, it's all there, a testament to the unlikely, that God CAN make beauty from ashes, that He can do the impossible, that He IS right there IN IT ALL--present amid the trouble, disappointments, and wrongs of life--creating beauty that showcases His handiwork, no matter what the curse says my life is "supposed" to be.
Tip/Tidbit: Paint a mental picture of the most painful time of your life. Is it a smear of browns and grays? Now add bursts of color to represent God's presence with you through it all and His promise to transform all things--even this--into something of good. What good has already come from your trouble? What might yet develop from your poor choice or from your pain?
Romans 8:28 "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."