“One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD And to meditate in His Temple.” Psalm 27:4 (NASB)
“Look for beauty where it is not supposed to be found.” Claes Oldenburg, sculptor
- Call your prayer partner for your 10-minute prayer call. Keep trying to connect until you get to pray together. This tiny habit of praying regularly with a friend will truly change your life! It has changed mine!
- Sweet friends, take a moment to soak in God’s beauty and goodness around you. So often, I let whatever is stealing my attention overshadow the amazing gifts God has given me: a husband who is there through the good and the bad, children who love and forgive with ease, and friends who encourage me to live well. I pray that you will see the beauty in your surroundings and relationships, forgetting all your cares as you meet with God today.
- Read Psalm 27:4 and write it in your journal.
Last winter, my grandfather passed away. He was a strong, godly man who worked and prayed for everyone around him until the day he died. I hadn’t seen him much over the past few years—the distance proving prohibitive as his health declined and my family grew. However, despite my sadness in his passing, I felt a deep peace knowing he had led a full, godly life. I imagine God greeted him in heaven with the words, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” As we gathered photos of my grandpa’s life, letters from his loved ones, and meaningful songs for the memorial, the pain of death and separation was eclipsed by the beauty and joy he left behind.
I felt God near as I listened to Kristen DiMarco’s “It is Well with my Soul” at the memorial and began to comprehend the beauty in my grandfather’s transition from this life into the next. He experienced sin and pain as everyone does, but God’s love is so great that it overshadows all else. I witnessed how God used an imperfect but faithful man to bring a bit of His eternal glory to this Earth. Through Jesus’ healing power, God covered over all our sins and struggles with His beautiful, glorious love.
It’s easy to recognize God’s love and beauty in the joys of life, but what about in the midst of pain and struggles? These situations magnify God’s glory and beauty all the more if we keep our focus on Him and remain steadfast in faith. This year, I have challenged myself to seek beauty in all aspects of life—especially in that which is mundane or painful. In looking for beauty and goodness, I have found it in unexpected places. You see, God’s goodness fills the Earth; it is easy to find when you’re looking for it.
The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. (Psalm 19:1)
Embracing beauty is a form of living with gratitude, a constant awareness that God is the provider of everything good. Our heavenly Father is the architect of beauty; it is the fingerprint He leaves on everything He touches. The key to seeing beauty in all situations is finding God in them. God has inserted beauty and goodness into everything He has made, and so it exists wherever God is—even in earthly death. Sometimes the underlying beauty isn’t apparent, but we must trust that God has a greater purpose that we do not see. Jesus told the disciples, “You don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will” (John 13:7 NLT). Friends, I urge you to seek out the good in all situations and trust that God has a plan to redeem everything that seems bad.
I love the prophet Micah’s attitude of faith when he wrote: “But me, I’m not giving up. I’m sticking around to see what God will do. I’m waiting for God to make things right” (Micah 7:7a MSG). We must have this same stance. We have a powerful Father who can make everything good and right in its own time.
Blessings and Love,
Questions to Ponder
- Are there any areas of your life, your marriage, or your family in which you fail to recognize God’s beautiful plan? Write them down and pray that God will help you with this. As He reveals His answer to you, write it in your journal.
- Do Micah’s words touch your heart? Is there a hard situation that you’re waiting on God to fix? Tell God about it, pray that He will give you wisdom about His purpose in this struggle, and say a prayer to remind yourself that He will make everything right. For God’s children, all things work together for good (Romans 8:28).
Start a Thankful Journal with your family!
Buy a pretty prayer journal, blank journal, or sketchbook, and let your kids decorate it. Set aside some time to teach your children what you learned in this study, and talk to them about looking for God’s goodness and beauty all around you. Serve some special snacks to keep your kids quiet while you’re teaching them (bonus: this will make your kids look forward to family Bible studies).
After you’re done talking and listening to your children’s input, play worship music while they decorate the Thankful Journal together. Some great songs that go well with this lesson: “Beautiful Things” by Gungor and “You’re Beautiful” by Phil Wickham (I listen to them for free on YouTube).
After the journal has been decorated, give everyone a chance to add something. Allow your children to be creative. Don’t shoot down an answer—just ask them how God’s beauty is evident in that response. Help them come up with something, if necessary, so they will see that everything good comes back to God. Let them write in the journal themselves, or you could write what they dictate and give them a chance to sign it. When my kids were little, they loved adding their scribble “signature” to their entries. Let them draw pictures if they prefer, and help the little ones caption their drawings.
Keep this journal out in the open where you will see it and add to it often. Tell your kids that they can add to it too. It will be a sweet reminder of all of God’s gifts—both big and little!