Have you noticed this or is it just me? Just a few minutes of reading or watching the news can easily zap the ability to notice beauty right out of a person. It seems that there is hardship at every turn, evil on full exhibit, and a continual demise in society. Frankly, it’s easy to allow the state of culture to squelch my ability to discover places to look for God’s beauty.
But God created this world and in spite of its demise, he longs for us to see things as he sees them. Though we cannot be perfect in our attempts to do so, we can ask God to give us the eyes of his heart and we CAN be noticers of beauty, taking in all that He has given to us in each and every moment of the day.
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, Ephesians 1:18
So where do we look for beauty in the everyday moments of life? When I was working on the Everything Beautiful Bible reading plan and journal, I wanted to make it simple to focus on looking for God’s wonderful work, true beauty, each day. I feel certain that there are many more places we could list, but let’s chat over these 9 places to look for God’s beauty every day.
1. The words I read
Each day, I do my best to read God’s Word before anything else. It’s tempting to pick up the phone, open email, or grab the newspaper, but making God’s Word the priority in my life is my goal. It’s easy to see beauty in the words I read when those first words are God’s words. Then throughout the day, no matter what I’m reading, emails, social media, the mail, I ask the Lord to help me see his marvelous works. (I will tell you that to make this a conscious effort, there were items I had to block and not allow in my feeds to begin with!)
2. The places I go
If you’re like me, many of the places I go are the same each day or week. School, church, grocery store, home and there is little variance from that when we are in school yearroutine, unless I’m travelling to speak. But I’ve found if you ask the Lord to show you his beautiful works, he will do it. His creation continually amazes me and I’ve been surprised at the butterflies he’s placed on my path or the sunshine beaming through the window.
3. The music I hear
There have been times in my life when I was struggling with my mood or thoughts, jumped into the van to go somewhere, and a praise song immediately changed my spirit. Music is powerful and God loves to show us his beauty through the notes and the lyrics of music.
4. The people I encounter
Seeing people through God’s eyes is something I’m continually asking him to help me do. It’s easy to say I want to see the beauty in others, but when their actions are anything but beautiful, it’s difficult, right? I’m working to interrupt my thoughts and opinions of their actions with a simple prayer asking the Lord to help me see them as he sees them. With compassion, with thoughts of their potential, with love.
5. The food I eat
I’ll confess it: I’m a foodie. I love pretty food and really good-tasting food. Our family’s little suburban garden has helped me see the incredible work of our heavenly Father. We’re planted pumpkin seeds this year and it has been fascinating to watch them grow. Perhaps you don’t have the opportunity to see food growing. There is still a lot of beauty to be seen in colors and flavors, especially in the food God made for us to eat!
6. The air I breathe
I think of the words in the praise song, “I need you- more than oxygen.” The song is upbeat and fun, but the words mean something different to me. “It’s your breath- in our lungs- as we pour out our praise.” Thank you, Lord for life and breath.
7. The weather I experience
I’m a sunshine girl. I love the sun, the light and warmth it provides and the sparkle it brings. So to see beauty in the rain, the clouds, the gray days, yes, it’s a challenge for me. But I’m discovering that when I choose to be thankful for the benefits of the weather (ie: the garden is receiving needed water), then I’m seeing how God provision’s are beautiful and function is sometimes what creates beauty.
8. The rest I receive
On the seventh day of creation, God rested. Was he tired? No, he doesn’t grow tired. He rested because he was setting the pace for mankind and it was good. Good for him to see his creation, to glance back over the week and be pleased. I’ve discovered that I need more rest as I’m getting older. And not allowing myself to enjoy and embrace it is damaging. Rest is a beautiful thing.
9. The grace I give
The more I study the life of Jesus, the more I’m convinced that he rarely judged or criticized. The times he did, it was against the religious leaders of his day for their hypocrisy. His way is love, not legalism. I’m slowly learning how to lavish his grace on others. There are times when it’s really hard for me, I’ll admit. When someone doesn’t keep their promises, it’s hard for me. When someone doesn’t follow through with their commitments, it’s hard for me. But grace is a one size fits all package. You can never give more grace than God has given. (One More Step, chapter 7) I’m discovering that God does incredible, marvelous works when I choose to extend his grace.
So what are you thinking? Is one of these places of beauty easier for you to see than others? Which one could you challenge yourself to do? Order Everything Beautiful Bible reading plan and journal to work through 31 days of focusing on seeing this world as Jesus sees it- broken, but beautiful.
By his grace,