Eyes that see beauty are a gift from God! We live in an image-crazed world longing to see beauty, to find substance. The selfie craze cries out of hearts trying to find something.
But real beauty is a buried treasure one must dig deep to see and enjoy. The Prophet Isaiah spoke of this Truth as he described the coming Messiah.
My servant grew up in the LORD’s presence like a tender green shoot, like a root in dry ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him. Isaiah 53:2
Jesus’ body suffered tremendously as He walked the ‘way of suffering’ to open the way for us to enter into eternal life and union with the Father. Neither His beaten body nor the path He trod appeals to us in our natural mind. It has no beauty on the surface.
Likewise, the Church, the Body of Christ on earth today often fails to draw gasps of awe as one looks at it. We are often bruised by the ungodly attitudes we allow to mar our image but in the eyes of God, He sees something different.
The lyrics below will give you a glimpse of His view…if you click the link, the song will play as you read on.
How beautiful the radiant Bride
who waits for her Groom
with His light in her eyes.
How beautiful when humble hearts give
the fruit of pure lives
so that others may live.
how beautiful is the body of Christ.
How beautiful the feet that bring
the sound of good news
and the love of the King.
How beautiful the hands that serve
the wine and the bread
and the sons of the earth.
how beautiful is the body of Christ.
Christ’s love for the Bride compels me to look for beauty everywhere. He sees beauty when I cannot. My frequent prayer is to more consistently see with His eyes. That is a prayer He loves to answer.
God is creative in His answers and chose to let me look with Him at my aqua-cize class. Working in water with a noodle offers some unique challenges–and a fair amount of laughter. Standing on a floating device tends to create some chaos. Noodles pop off from under people and whack others in the side of the head. People tip over and legs can get stuck up in the air as a noodle gives buoyancy muscles can’t counter.
Each person in the class brings a different set of strengths and weaknesses to the pool. The uniting goal is improved health but the individual realities impact the outcome. Physical injuries, limited muscle strength, lack of coordination, past experience with water, self-consciousness, feelings of inferiority…they all play into the experience.
The beauty is that progress is made simply by staying the course. Falling off the noodle and getting back on gives as much benefit to the weaker participant as completing the exercise gives the stronger participant. In the aqua-cize class, encouragement to one another is frequent. The success of one is hope for another.
Do you see the parallels for the Church? We share a common purpose: that the world may know our great and glorious God. We share the very gift of God dwelling within us and the power of the Holy Spirit compelling us. Like the individuals in the class, though, we have weaknesses and self-absorption that sometimes hinders us. We tip over; sometimes we ‘slap’ others (figuratively only one hopes); and at times, we feel like failures. But as we press on for the joy set before us, God accomplishes His purpose…in us and in the world!
We can only begin where we are…whether in an aqua-cize class or as a disciple of Christ. Fixing our eyes on the goal brings forth beauty otherwise hidden. Hebrews 12:2 tells us that for the joy set before Him, Christ endured the Cross. As Jesus prayed for you and I before He went to the Cross, His plea was for the unity of believers. That unity does not come by fixing our eyes on differences, pointing out failures and critically assessing one another (or even ourselves). Beautiful unity comes as we fix our eyes on Christ and determine to know only Him.
Do you need a word of encouragement? Be humble, let someone know!
Do you see someone struggling? Look for the beauty of effort and speak life!