I love the house where you live, O LORD, the place where your glory dwells. Psalm 26:8
The beauty of the Lord is something that I have written about before, but if you are like me, you have to go back to it over and over….and over.
The photo above is of a tree in full bloom that I passed every day last spring; finally I had to stop and take a picture of it. Later when I uploaded it I noticed that the stop sign was standing vigilantly next to the tree, as if to say, “STOP” and remember to reflect on beauty.
When was a time that beauty called on you stop and notice?
It could be something small and simple. A silly example from my life was when, after being out of the country for several years, I came back and aimlessly walked into a new supermarket. My mouth fell open when I walked in the door and remained that way as I stared at the two endless aisles of candy and sweets; there was more on those shelves in one glance than I had seen in three years put together. I was so dumbfounded at the overabundance that I made it all the way to the register without putting anything in my basket; all my purchases were in my other arm.
We often stop in front of beauty, like deer or other wildlife that appear within our sights while we drive. Other times we are occupied and we have to make a conscious effort to pay attention.
The most beautiful thing I can think of is Jesus, and the overabundance that is His Kingdom. And yet I often ignore, dismiss, forget about His Kingdom and its beauty. I become distracted with things that could not be described as “beautiful.” I am distracted with my work, my burdens, my reputation. These things are burdensome, hard to maintain or find joy in, or just plain ugly.
The beauty of the Lord demands our attention in that there is nothing else like it, but He does not demand that we “stop” to appreciate or notice. Like the photo, the tree is overwhelming in comparison to the stop sign. The Lord lets His beauty speak for itself. He will not drown it out by screaming for our attention. What would the effect be if the stop sign were bigger than the tree? He will not compete with other “loves” that have stricken and captivated us. The beauty of His love is far too costly to be one of many choices. He wants our full attention, all our love, a heart that has abandoned other pursuits. We often expect to see the beauty of God without first un-attaching our gaze from other things.
Suddenly my message here is more than just “stop and smell the roses.”
The beauty of the Lord is not something that we merely observe and then move on. It is something that happens to us; it takes over. When we step into the beauty of the Lord, it takes a hold of us and we are forever different. This is possibly another reason why we often do not pursue it; we are not willing to be changed. We think beauty is only something we can see with our eyes, but it is also about what we dream about, long for. Getting lost in God’s beauty can be strange or uncomfortable to others who do not understand it. If your heart is sick about what is around you, step inside the beauty of God. Let it change the way you think about things, the way you see life.
Even better, God’s beauty is His perfect remedy for pain.
Brothers and Sisters, if you are in ministry and are constantly giving what you have to needy people, and the concept of the beauty of the Lord is not one that you think about often, check your heart! Ministry can be painful, but it can also be beautiful…..