Tuesday, February 12, 2013

I Spy Beauty...

a weekly (sometimes) post of beauty seen, heard or discovered
"We are pressed but not crushed, perplexed but don't despair
We are persecuted but not abandoned
We are no longer slaves, we are daughters and sons
And when we are weak, we are very strong
And neither death, nor life, nor present, nor future, nor depth, nor height
Can keep us from the love of Christ"
from The Word by Sara Groves
It's been one of THOSE weeks. And by that I mean a very, very sucky (for want of profanity) one.
And the beauty is, that while your friends are also having sucky weeks, somehow you can manage to encourage one another.

On a road trip Sunday afternoon my two friends and I began to talk about our current struggles. And about the things we have been finding comfort in. One friend reminded me of this beautiful bridge from Sara Groves’ song The Word. Such a strong statement of hope and faith and courage!
I pointed to 2 Corinthians 4 (part of the inspiration of the lyrics.) This passage has been such a big part of my faith journey… always an encouragement. It is a reminder of the essence of the gospel- brokenness and redemption. As we barrelled along the freeway, my friend read the whole chapter aloud to us….
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.....
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:7-12, 16-18 (TNIV)
I have been reminded in the last few days of the capacity of pain and conflict and struggle to draw us closer to each other and closer to God. It is in the very brokenness we so struggle with that God meets us most fully.

If we give ourselves over to the work of God in our lives, whether it be through pain or blessing, we are transformed. We overcome. We can become beautiful. What hope!
“We’re free of it! All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him.” 2 Corinthians 3:17-18 (MSG, emphasis mine)

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