I went to bed last night, longing for beauty in my life. I woke up searching for beauty. Another one of those mornings of being discontent with me. And feeling guilty for it. But it made me desire God more. I hate it when I grumble and complain. Those thoughts warred in my head as I tried to push them out. I knew I needed God. More of Him, but I didn’t expect to feel Him. Sometimes He just feels so far away. Even in my quiet times.
By way of making tea, doing dishes, and flinging open the windows for fresh air, I finally trudged back to my quiet time corner. Did I say trudged? It’s almost August, and we’re still experiencing invigorating, crisp, cool mornings. I should be thankful. I am. I live by the beach, so why am I searching for beauty? Why do I wake up feeling dark and yucky? In a funk, to put it succinctly.
I know the answer, right? This fallen, broken world and the enemy get me down, but I also know the solution. I prayed. Not just for me but for you. Besides my Bible, I also chose a couple of books to read, knowing God’s Word would ultimately speak to me. But I needed a “live person,” and I felt guilty, again, for the thought. After all, who is more alive than the Lord God? Creator of life.
The View From January
The first book I chose to read was Thomas Albaugh’s, The View From January, a book of poems. Knowing his journey of grief grips my heart. He’s a sweet acquaintance and friend from my Christian Writer’s Group, ACFW. I only see him at meetings, but a gentler soul I’ve never met. His words greet me with honesty. His intelligence baffles my mind, and he always challenges me with introspection. Without mentioning the Lord, he somehow inspires me to be all that God desires and equips me to be. The words, Searching For Beauty, came about from reading his words.
Finding Beauty All Around but…
When I read about the heartache of others, I can’t help but be saddened. I’m so blessed, and when I desire more, I feel ashamed. How can I possibly desire more joy? My family is bursting with it. My life is, for the most part, peaceful, not entirely comfortable, but I really can’t complain. Yet the atrocities of the world, the trials and illnesses of family and friends, and the bittersweet burden of caring daily hit me. Not to mention carrying my own baggage from way, way back. The enemy is at work, isn’t he?
Yet, I’m so grateful for my family, my life, and my friends…illnesses, cares of the world, and all. I’m so privileged to be praying and sharing tears, and burdens. It’s a bittersweet joy, and I realize the only thing I need more of is God. I smile because He is all I need. For that, I don’t feel guilty. He is big enough for me, for you, for the world. And one day, that longing for more will be fulfilled!
Searching Spurgeon’s Sermons
After relishing Thomas’s pages, I moved on to Spurgeon’s Sermons. My son, David, gave me this five-volume set of Spurgeon’s Sermons about five years ago for my birthday. I’m finally finishing Volume 2!
Sermon number XXIV on Omniscience was just where I happened to be. How the Lord met me in the writings brought me to tears. It went right along with a movie that I watched last night: a beautiful father-son rebuilding and bonding story set in Tuscany. Perhaps the longing for beauty came in my dreams last night. The movie, which I can’t even remember the name of, displayed gorgeous landscapes in Italy with my favorite musical accompaniment…opera.
The dad, a painter, said, “People don’t like to see themselves as others see them.” Isn’t that the truth? Spurgeon put it another way…
I only read Point One of the three-point sermon today. Here’s the brief outline that freed my heavy heart. Not that it’s profound, but in light of feeling lonely, undeserving, and less-than hit home.
The thought of Jesus with me, actually holding my hand, leading me, going before me filled that empty void that the enemy darkened this morning. The light of the Lord filled my heart, and beauty enveloped my world, and I couldn’t wait to share it with you!
Finding Beauty in Christ
I finished my quiet time by reading Jeremiah 31. To be honest, although reading Jeremiah saddens me, yet I find hope in God’s goodness and promises, and God’s Word never disappoints.
Nothing physically changed today or the expectation of it. If I had dwelt on the busyness and all that needed to be done, I would have become overwhelmed. But remembering and treasuring that Jesus’ eyes are on me, that He finds beauty in me…that’s overwhelming, in a good way. And finding such comfort and grounding that He is by my side…oh my!
Beautiful Jesus who experienced everything I have and am and will. He knows, and He cares. When I need more of Him, His beauty and goodness are here within, beside, and all around. Nothing happens that He has not ordained. And He will use it all for His glory. How humbly grateful I am that I will benefit, undeserving, but so loved that I am by Him. He loves you so. Remember and treasure that always. Go searching for beauty. He’s created a beautiful world out there, but He created you, and with Christ within, you are beautiful and in His sight, so very precious.