Tag Archives: illness

The Silver Lining is Always There!  Hope for Depression…

This week is a time of great trial, stress, and sadness for a precious family and their friends, who almost lost their lives in a horrific home explosion. They lost everything; their entire home and everything in it. They are faced with critical, life-changing injuries, which will change the course of the rest of their lives. Though a Go Fund Me campaign is in place for them, they need Jesus more than ever, to help get them through this trial. 

At times like these; when hopelessness and despair run rampant, it can be difficult to find the silver lining behind the dark, thick clouds looming in the storm. Of course life itself is a gift from God, and it is a reason to praise Him and give thanks. But sometimes it is difficult to live life; especially when we are suffering, in pain, depressed, and afraid about the future. Still, God promises to take care of us. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28 New International Version).

I’ve thought about how I would encourage my readers to “look on the bright side,” “think positive,” or “remember the light at the end of the tunnel;” when they are utterly drowning in deep sorrow, pain, and suffering. I know that words don’t help people who feel lost and utterly hopeless, because words didn’t help me either. 

Words don’t help hurting people, when they are too busy focusing on how to navigate their way through the darkness. I know, because I’ve been in that deep, dark, depressed place where I could not see the silver lining, either. The clouds were too thick and dense and dark. I needed to be rescued.  “Save me, O God! For the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in deep mire, where there is no foothold; I have come into deep waters, and the flood sweeps over me” (Ps. 69:1-2 English Standard Version).  Read: DEEP…A PSALM OF RESCUE…HOPE FOR DEPRESSION.

Words did not help; but truth, prayer and promises did. Truth provides hope. Prayer provides answers. Promises provide relief. They all work together, giving us God’s protection, and helping us to trust God, and grow in our faith. We begin to understand that our Almighty, Holy God loves us unconditionally; and this helps us to feel secure in believing His divine promises, which can never be broken.

We can pray for ourselves, and we can prayerfully intervene for others. Others can pray for us too!  The Bible promises us that God will never reject or abandon us in our time of need. Even if He’s silent, God is always there. Jesus promises hope which leads to healing, joy, and freedom. God promises to be our Rock; our Shelter from the storm, and a source of NEVER-ending protection. 

God’s Son, Jesus, is always lighting the way for us, even when we can’t see him. This is why searching for the silver lining gives us hope… because the sun never stops shining down upon us. The sun is still nourishing us; helping plants to grow, giving us daylight, warming our bodies, and providing energy to us here on earth… even when we don’t see it! The truth is still true, even if we don’t believe it! “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for” (Heb. 11:1-2 New International Version).

God tells us to pray constantly, without ceasing. He promises to provide courage and strength. He promises to give us wisdom if we ask for it! God promises that when we pray together, He is in the middle of us! “‘For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst'” (Matt. 18:20 New American Standard Bible). God promises there will be no more tears or sorrow in Heaven. He promises us so many wonderful things! 

God is a promise maker, He is not a promise breaker! This is why we can put our entire trust in Him, even during our most difficult trials. Because God only tells the truth, we can look forward to the silver lining which awaits us in the next life. Our salvation is an absolute miracle, the greatest gift we could ever hope for, and that in itself… is enough. It’s FREE! HOW TO INVITE JESUS INTO YOUR HEART, AND RECEIVE ETERNAL LIFE!

But… God is also human; He is Jesus… so God understands that Heaven seems very far away from us. He understands that Heaven is simply incomprehensible for our feeble minds to grasp. So… God also has a plan laid out for us while we are still here, waiting to get to Heaven. It’s all meant to save more people, so they can come live in His Kingdom too! In His perfect timing; God transforms, heals, restores, calls, and blesses us… right here on Earth! How incredible is that? 

God takes our tears of sadness, and turns them into springs of gladness. Our depression is transformed to joy. Our hopelessness disappears, and is replaced by faith!  “To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory.” (Isa. 61:3 New Living Translation).

You who are tired and weary of living; God understands! It is not His will for you to be depressed!  Pursue Him, and He will teach you how to grab hold of the lies which hold you down; and renounce them in the name of Jesus! Pray, ask for prayer, and seek out brothers and sisters in Christ who will pray for you. Cry out to God for HELP, in the name of Jesus! He will send you wise counsel, comforting scriptures, and truthful teachings to lead you out of the desert, and into the Promised Land! 

Dear God, please be with my brothers and sisters in Christ who are suffering today. Remove from us our strongholds, and the lies which persist and plague us. Lord, heal our physical ailments that cause us pain and frustration. Heal our emotional hurts, which cause us depression; due to a build up of guilt, anger, and fear. Heal our mental challenges, which stem from disabilities and hardship. Heal spiritual injuries brought on by abuse and false prophets and false teachings. In Jesus’ name we pray, and we ask for Your will to be done; not ours. We know Your plan is perfect and Holy, and so is Your timing. Thank you that the silver lining is always there! Please bless us, in Jesus’ name!

Be encouraged! God promises to provide light and love for His children; both here on Earth, and in Heaven!

Jesus Is INSTRUMENTAL to your Healing!

No one can tell me there isn’t a GOD! God gave my son a MIRACLE! He gave my dad a MIRACLE at the same time! They are no longer sick. They have been healed! JESUS IS THE MIRACLE! Repent, and ask him to come into your life!

I posted this good news to social media, on March 27, 2014; three years ago, and as a ‘butterfly blip’ on my blog. How timely, to discover it again during this Easter month, when I’ve chosen the theme of HEALING. 

There is more to share about our family’s trial of suffering through the terrible diseases of eosinophilic esophagitis, cancer, and a pulmonary embolism resulting in three brushes with death. There is much to say, in order to offer hope to those who’ve given up because they’re so sick; and to tell them how Jesus heals generational illnesses through the simple act of forgiving through Jesus Christ. Those stories, and more, will come. 

But today, it’s the day before Easter! And I want to tell you that Jesus is The Great Physician! He is a Miracle Maker! He can do what no earthly doctor can; simply by choosing to answer our prayers! Doctors, nurses, and medicine are wonderful things. Of course they are, for they only came about, because God created them. God guides doctors’ hands and gives them wisdom. God fills nurses’ hearts with compassion and knowledge. God creates men and women with intricate brains, so they can research and invent medines to help cure what ails us. 

But none of it works without God’s healing touch, and God needs none of it at all to heal us; when He can simply reach down… and perform a miracle! The power of prayer and anointing makes modern medicine go farther… and it can also stand alone, leaving us in awe at what God can do without human intervention. Prayer and anointing bring us closer to God, and they point us to the Great I AM; proving He is solely in charge of our health. God can heal in an instant… but He wants a relationship with us. He wants to show us how much He loves us!

This is why, three years ago, I was able to write this post on social media!  And GOD gets ALL the glory! For both my son, and my father, had over 500 people praying for them to be healed. Both were anointed in the name of The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit. And both… were mightily, and miraculously healed!

My Easter praise from 2014:

“Praise the Lord!

My son is in remission from his Eosinophilic Esophagitis!

There are no eosinophils (white blood cells) in his esophagus. Zero!

No signs of damage. Complete remission!
God is so good!

How interesting it is that God’s timing for healing my son is at the same time that God’s saved my father’s life!

It is true that God does things in a big way (abundantly).

Both my father and my son each have more hurdles, and they both each have a big one, but God is good, and I’m excited about the plans he has for us!

“The LORD sustains them on their sickbed and restores them from their bed of illness” (Psalm 41:3 New International Version).

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds” (Psalm 147:3 ).

Thank you everyone for your prayers!”

That was my message in 2014, and I believe in it three years later, more than ever! So, go ahead; make your appointments, and go to the doctor. Do not neglect your health, which should be high priority; as we care for our children, parents, and ourselves. But in doing so, do not spiritually neglect your health. I’m not talking about “meditative states,” “colorful energy,” or “sending positive vibes.” These actions do nothing; and in fact, can cause both believers, and unbelievers, to stray from The Truth. I’m talking about reading healing scriptures from the Bible, praying to God,  and pursuing The Great Physician; Jesus Christ! NOW we are talking about HOPE for HEALING!

Take your suffering, pain, illness, infirmary, sickness, emotional distress, depression, incurable disease, hopeless dire situation… and LAY IT BEFORE THE FEET OF JESUS, AT THE CROSS, FIRST! Then go where God tells you to go, and take it one step at a time. Let Jesus carry your burden. He has already promised to do it for you!

” ‘Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light’ ” (Matt. 11:29-30).

Now I must get some sleep. For it is almost time to enjoy “Easter in the Park,” where my now healthy son, will be playing music under the gazebo with his twin brother… ALL to serve GOD; so children can enjoy the day hunting for colored eggs, and most importantly, learn about Jesus Christ… The Miracle Maker!

Trust in Jesus to heal you… and give you VICTORY! 

GOT JESUS? He’s got enough love for YOU too! Here how to get to know him! HOW TO INVITE JESUS INTO YOUR HEART, AND RECEIVE ETERNAL LIFE!

Visit The Silver Lining Facebook page for even more encouragement on: HEALING, by other Christian authors, poets, and bloggers as well as myself.  I invite you to join my page, and invite others, so they can be lifted up by godly truths founded in scripture; which when applied, can change, heal, and save lives!  

Read more blog posts on HEALING!

Original link:  Looking Back on Easter Miracles

The Unexpected Joy of REST

I never expected God would fill me up with so much joy, at the exact same time I’d be recovering from major back surgery! I’m two weeks into recovery, and God has been lighting up my life! Now don’t get me wrong… it hurts! The pain is intense. Just when I think the pain is beginning to diminish, it either comes back, or starts up again somewhere else!

But God has a sense of humor, and He knows what He’s doing ALL the time! I wasn’t listening as God tried to convince me to slow down. I needed rest, and it just wasn’t happening. As my body kept breaking down, God continued to urge me to rest in Him, but I believed rest was a waste of time. I did NOT believe God was a waste of time, and I’m so in love with Him for being patient with me. I just could not sit still and allow myself to soak up His Holy Presence; but I needed it… His rest… more than sunshine. I know that now.

I wrote about God, I looked up His verses and studied them, I listened to the words He said to me and wrote them down to encourage others, I sought counsel for things I didn’t understand, and thanked God for my elders wiser than me. I humbled myself and admitted my shortcomings, forgave others even when it hurt, and continued faithfully trusting God, even when it didn’t make sense… but I refused to… rest

I told myself there wasn’t time; there was too much to do, and moments of rest were moments I could be accomplishing something. But the accomplishments were never enough, and every night I was still filled with self-condemnation, even when I had worked my fingers, or my back, to the bone.  The voices from my past always left me feeling guilty and unworthy, like I must keep going to prove myself. But I was now at the breaking point. I was exhausted, and truly tired of suffering, and I just couldn’t break the cycle. No one in my precious, immediate family pressured me to keep going; in fact they all insisted I take a break and… rest. So did my dear friends. And I knew they really meant it. And I knew they were right. But the green light always said, “GO.”

And finally I began to get the message. I wasn’t taking care of myself, because I had never really learned how. During childhood, I’d been made to feel ashamed for doing well and for doing nice things for myself. So somewhere along the line; a long, long time ago, I had given up. I hadn’t given up on caring for my family, but I realized I had stopped caring for myself. I didn’t take the time to enjoy a book, write poetry, eat healthy, paint my nails, and just “stop and smell the flowers.” 

I was doing everything for others, and nothing for myself. When I had time to myself, I didn’t use it wisely, because I felt it was useless. As a child, I’d taught myself not to get my hopes up, because I was constantly let down, and penalized for doing things that made me happy. Of course my children gave me great joy, so my focus was there. I just found our family seemed to be always doing something on everyone else’s agenda, and never anything on our own; or mine. If I didn’t start taking care of myself soon, I wouldn’t be able to take care of those I love the most…my family members. And I wanted to be there for my friends and sisters and brothers in Christ, the way God has helped me to be there for them before. 

I began to make the necessary decision to take things off of my plate, and get serious about my surgery, and get serious about dividing my time equally in caring for both my family, and myself. This meant saying no to lots of things. I wasn’t concerned about not being liked, for I had discovered boundaries a long time ago, and am no longer into people-pleasing. I’m into pleasing God!

The hard part was giving up the couple things I had chosen to keep, like my Sunday School class and freelancing for Child Guide magazine, where I’m both a columnist, and a regular contributor. But God met me here too! I saw my daughter light up when she went to my friend’s Sunday School class and was welcomed by name with a cheerful smile. Yes, she wanted to go back! And my friend and editor of the magazine, kindly worked with me, as she always has, so I could have this season of rest and recovery, without any pressing deadlines.

Even though I was getting the message, the week before my surgery, I was frantically cleaning the house and calling in the troops to help me. Though I knew I should probably be relaxing, because my body would be enduring a lot of stress from the surgery, I stayed up late into the night two days prior to my surgery, instead of… resting.  Though my family promised to take care of me and did indeed do everything  I requested, I was determined to make sure my bedroom would be a sanctuary of peace for my recovery. When I got home, I wanted to make sure I would be able to… rest

Besides,  Pshaw! I could rest in the hospital after my surgery! Um… no. I didn’t realize then, that the post-operative pain would be so unbearable, I wouldn’t sleep a wink! Yet, I found myself joyfully writing a blog in the hospital that night instead. But this time, in spite of the excruciating pain, I could feel my body… resting. Even though I couldn’t sleep, I felt relaxed in my mind, because I knew that I was finally going to get a chance to… rest… and I was desperate to do so. 
If I could easily kneel down; all the love, support, and encouragement (which is still coming my way) would have already humbly brought me to my knees. Instead, our family has appreciatively gathered, and bowed our heads each evening, thanking God for warm home-cooked meals;  made by loving hands, and serving hearts. We’ve asked God to bless these beautiful women and their families, from my church and town. We’ve told God how very grateful we are for His provisions of delicious food, enjoyable visits, and playdates for my young daughter who is homeschooled; so she can remain happy, busy, and active with friends while I recuperate.

I’ve been able to bask in the warmth of the sun, while enjoying God’s beautiful flowers as they spring forth during my favorite season;  in anticipation of my favorite holiday… Easter!  What could be a more perfect time for rest and rejuvenation?  I’m so thankful that Jesus died for me, so that no matter what lies ahead; my future, my family’s future, and the future of my Christian brothers and sisters; lies secure in our salvation through Jesus Christ!

Why am I so surprised about the immense joy which has come my way in the midst of pain? This isn’t some crazy coincidence; for God’s timing really is the best; and He knows when we most need the presence of joy. He prepared me for it, and without a doubt He gets the glory for the healing he is bestowing upon me, both inside and out. Because, the fact is, hundreds of brothers and sisters in Christ have been praying for me for a long time, and I’ve been anointed by both my pastor and my husband. Anointing is powerful, and we should expect good things when we receive the gift of it. After all, it’s a holy blessing from The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit!  

In the pain and suffering, God has provided the silver lining: family, friends, fellowship, food, and… rest. I hoped for it… and it came… just when I needed it most! So as I heal, I continue to TRUST HIM, because hope in Jesus does NOT disappoint! “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” (Rom. 5:1-5 New International Version).

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 15:13).

Spring is a time of joyful, new beginnings! I pray you know the truth; that our hope lies only in Jesus, so you can find healing, joy, and freedom in Christ! May you enjoy the warmth of the sun, the beauty of colorful flowers, the hugs from friends, and the joy of holding a soft, downy baby chick! May you receive Jesus, and have peace in knowing you have eternal life! AMEN!

Blog posts directly related to this series on surgery and healing:

When You’re Sick, God Shows Up… Because He’s Already There!

The Family that Prays Together…

Trusting God through Trials

Dear readers of The Silver Lining

Today is my surgery day! I’m finally headed in for a lumbar fusion, after years of suffering with severely intense, chronic back pain. My God is in control, and I have peace and hope, because Jesus is at the wheel! Thank you to everyone who is praying for, supporting, and encouraging me; may God bless you in Jesus’ name for lifting me up to The Great Physician! 

I’ve been anointed by my pastor and by my husband. My family, friends, and church have prayed for me. I’ve prayed for myself! I’m ready! Please continue to pray for quick and complete healing for my entire back, so I can keep caring for my family and ministering to God’s children (that’s you!).  I want to give you hope in Christ, so you can find the goodness of God’s healing, freedom, and joy; as we keep pursuing Jesus in our lives. 

God gave me this verse for my surgery:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’ ” (Jer. 29:11 New International Version). Pass it on to a friend who needs The Lord’s comfort today! 💙

Here is a past post depicting a small part of the suffering my family and I have endured: God Pulls Us Through Trials of Suffering; but the silver lining is that it’s nothing compared to the HUGE REWARDS God has in store for us, including eternal life! 💙 

Trust God!

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28).

Enter the Race…Win the Prize!

Two years ago, God saved my dad’s life three times in the span of two months! I’m so grateful God entrusted me to be the third family member to get my dad to the hospital on time. Once more, his situation was grave.  He was septic again, and the ER doctor pulled me out of the room to whisper that my dad was indeed very, very sick.  I prayed and slept, off and on that night, in a chair in his room in the ICU.  My heart hurt as I watched him try to rest.  How could he sleep with all the lights, voices, beeping, and painful poking and prodding?

The morning brought sweet relief, with news that he was pulling through, just as before. The doctors and nurses were amazed by my dad’s progress in battling a giant saddle pulmonary embolism, along with an aggressive cancer.  But it came as no surprise to me; for I knew that an army of Christians was praying for him, at least 500 prayer warriors. My dad had a positive attitude.  He is tough and brave, and he fought hard. But he belongs to God, so he didn’t have to fight alone.  God loves him, and He had a plan to heal him.

God had been helping me to battle my own anxiety and fear.   I was still working through it, during those three flights to Arizona that summer.  God did a great and mighty work in me. I felt His bubble of protection surrounding me; fear was unable to enter.  Without fear having the authority to sap my strength, I had energy to focus on ways to best help my dad.  I was able to be the hands and feet of Jesus, and give him the love and care he needed, so he could rest and heal.  Without lies clouding my mind, there was more room for discernment.  This helped me to be able to communicate well with doctors and nurses, in order to make the best possible medical decisions on my dad’s behalf. God also revealed many spiritual things to me, which are only understood through a relationship with His Son, Jesus.

I was never afraid the night I called the hospital, as I’d been instructed to do if his situation started going downhill.  Nor was I  afraid when I drove him to the hospital…but I drove with urgency. I talked to him, asking him questions, even though I knew he wanted to sleep.  Every couple minutes, I asked, “Are you okay?  Are you awake?”  I didn’t want to annoy him, but I needed to know he was still breathing.  As I drove, it suddenly struck me, that if we did not get to the hospital soon, he was not going to make it.

I’d followed exact caretaker instructions: I’d called ahead, because both his blood pressure and temperature had dropped. I’d convinced him to get into the car to drive him to the hospital. He was beyond exhausted, but agreed to go when I said my only other option was to call an ambulance. As the car radio played softly in the background, I also found myself going over the steps for CPR.  Through it all, God filled me with a surreal calm.  He made me understand that I had an assignment from Him, with a specific time limit, but that he was going to make sure I completed it. I just had to trust Him. I was not to worry.  I was to love and care for my dad. I drove along in darkness, but I knew that Jesus had the wheel.

It’s an amazing gift to receive a second chance at life, and definitely a time to turn to God and ask Him what plans He has for us.  Yet, how many times does God give us second chances, third, and fourth in our every day lives?  How many times does God help us get back up again, when we’ve fallen down in the race? We fall hundreds of times, and we will continue to fall throughout our imperfect lives.  Sometimes we fall physically, and we are literally unable to pick ourselves up from the ground.  Other times we fall emotionally, mentally, or spiritually. Fear sets in, because we get discouraged and begin to believe the lie that we are going to lose the race.

But God has already promised us that we are going to win the race!  We only need to keep going. We will run, and we will fall, and we will get back up, and run again. But we will reach the finish line!  Jesus will be waiting for us at the finish line.  He’ll be there, because he’s been running with us the whole way. Sometimes he may have to carry us, but God promises us, if we race with Jesus as a teammate, we are guaranteed a victory! Keep running! There’s a trophy waiting at the end of the finish line. It’s for you…and it’s bigger,  and better, than anything you could ever imagine!


“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful. And now the prize awaits me–the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give me on the day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but for all who eagerly look forward to his appearing.”
2 Tim. 4: 7-8 
New Living Translation

Let God Reveal True Beauty…not Society

Everywhere I look, society is insisting that it knows the true definition of beauty. If I didn’t know Jesus, I might fall for the myths too. Is beauty a woman after a makeover, or one who bares her natural face? Does it finally come when we lose our extra weight, or is it just when we are eating healthy and can fit into our clothes? Is it a perfect sunny day, or a rainstorm? Is it a picture perfect holiday party setting with family and friends, where nothing goes wrong? Is it little kids running through crunchy colorful fall leaves, or is it a wife running to greet her soldier who is coming home, broken from battle? Is beauty all, none, or some of these things?

We don’t all have the opportunity to create, or live in, our ideal surroundings of what we consider beautiful. Real life is messy and time-consuming. There are sick people to care for, ugly emergencies, life that goes on, without allowing you to unpack your stacks and stacks of cardboard of boxes. There’s illness, stress, depression, and life’s demands. Try as we might, we can’t live up to those picture perfect lives from the magazines, where homes stay clean, families are perfectly dressed and styled, toys are non-existent unless strategically placed, gourmet meals are a given, and home improvement projects are effortless. It seems so beautiful, but the magazines aren’t selling real life; they are selling dreams.

Some of us want to walk around outside and enjoy the nature around us, but life gets in the way. We may have an injury, or too much work to do. Perhaps we struggle with depression, which makes it harder to get up and go outside. Some of us would love to create a beautiful moment by lighting a candle, and enjoying a mug of tea with a favorite book. But we can’t seem to get there either. When you have toddlers, your relaxing bubble bath turns into a swimming pool filled with bath toys. That nap you were going to take on your crisp white sheets sprayed with lavender oil, just got spit up on by your newborn baby. Are these things beautiful? Maybe they are!

How can we understand godly beauty?  We invite Jesus into our lives, for nothing is truly beautiful without God. God will reveal the beauty around us. God created everything. A rainbow is beautiful, because we don’t see one everyday, and only God can create one. God is also the illustrator of beautiful sunsets and starry skies, which are mentioned in the bible. Beaches, trees, butterflies, animals, and people are beautiful. People’s opinions vary on the beauty of these things. Some believe that tall trees, overlooking a babbling brook, are more beautiful than a glistening, white sandy beach. That’s because God made us unique, with our own joyful experiences, as we witness beauty throughout our lives. When it comes to people, God looks inside our hearts for beauty. God did this when He chose King David: “But the LORD said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart” (1 Sam. 16:7 New International Version).

Sin steals beauty. Sin attempts to ruin the beautiful things and people that God has created. A smashed butterfly is no longer beautiful. Nor, is a beach littered with trash, or an animal that’s been killed on the side of the road. There was no death, until Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, in the Garden of Eden. “Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in the way death came to all people, because all sinned” (Rom. 5:12)– Grass died, flowers began to wilt, animals fought, people murdered each other, and childbirth hurt. Those things aren’t pretty. Sin is ugly. Jealousy, anger, lies, rebellion, and pain came along when sin began insidiously seeping its way into the world. That first sin of disobedience destroyed much of the perfect beauty God meant for us to have.

Let’s not be fooled into thinking that anyone lives a perfectly beautiful life, in perfectly beautiful surroundings, with perfectly beautiful people. Pictures shared on social media are not an accurate representation of our lives, but people share them, because we desire the beauty and perfection, which can only come from God. “From Zion, perfect in beauty, God shines forth” (Ps. 50:2). The reality is, that most of our not-so-beautiful life events, are not shared publicly. Imagine if everyone were to share those!

In real life, people are dealing with sins and strongholds, and just trying to make it through each day. Some people are caring for a sick family member or dealing with a family member going through addiction. Some people are victims of domestic violence or abuse, and others are dealing with anger or depression. We are all affected by each other’s sinful actions. Sometimes there are no choices about the situations in which we find ourselves, but we do have the choice to trust in God and follow Jesus. It’s a promise that God’s path will lead to beauty in your life.

The silver lining is found when God makes beauty out of the brokenness in our lives. He can make beauty from ashes. The bible says, “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end” (Ecc. 3:11). He will take away our pain and damage, and create something new and beautiful. This brings us hope and healing, and ultimately brings God glory. During the storm, He will lead us to see the beautiful things that He knows will give us the greatest joy. Then we will gain wisdom. It may be a rainbow that surprises you after you’ve cried your eyes out. It may be the beauty of seeing a family member healed, or set free, after many prayers. You may find beauty in the soft, elderly hands you hold as you gaze into your grandmother’s blue or brown eyes, knowing time is running out. Your child is beautiful when she or he gives you a hug after a really hard day. Beauty is reconciliation after answered prayers, when you thought all was lost. Beautiful is the adopted child who comes to his or her forever home to live with you, after you miscarried twice, and thought the hurt would never mend.

Because God is here in our world, because Jesus lives within the brokenhearted, and makes them brand new in him, we can find beauty in imperfections. This is why an old broken down cabin sitting up on a grassy, green hill, looks beautiful with the pink and orange sun going down behind it. The cabin represents history filled with pain and life experiences. Broken people have lived there. But God’s expansive sky surrounds it, and the windows are lit with a soft yellow glow, showing signs of life inside. If you know people who have come to Christ, after rejecting him over and over again, you’ll now see light in their eyes, where once there was darkness. Their lives are not perfect; none of us has a perfect life. But when we walk and talk with Jesus, he makes us beautiful, and he helps us to see the beauty around us.

Ask God to reveal the truth about beauty for you. It matters not what people say or what people believe about beauty. God’s truth about beauty is the only definition we need. If God says it’s ugly, it is, and if God says it’s beautiful, it is! Follow Him, and get excited about the beauty He will reveal to you about yourself, others, and the situations in your life. Not everyone or everything is beautiful. Outward beauty fades, but no one can take away the beauty of Christ within our hearts. “Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised” (Prov. 31:30). God’s beauty is eternal!


The Year of the LORD’S Favor

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD’S favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.
Isaiah 61: 1-3IMG_9316