After all the rain and gloomy weather we have been experiencing in Northern VA, we are blessed today with a glorious, sunny, warm day! I took full advantage of it, and just returned from my lunchtime walk.
God always finds a special way to communicate with me, and today was no exception. As I walked, I looked over to the quasi-pond (drainage ditch/reservoir filled with rain overflow) in the front of our building. My eyes first took in the sight of muddy, dirty water. Then I noticed the paper cups, garbage and pieces of wood and cardboard floating by. All I could think of was “yucky, dirty mess.”
When I looked closer, I saw a turtle sitting on top of the floating piece of wood. Since I rarely see turtles in my day to day life, that sight made me smile. The next thing that my eyes were directed to was a few ducks serenely swimming, oblivious to the dirt and garbage scattered around them. Then a movement in the tall grass caught my attention, and there was a regal heron, standing proudly, partially hidden from view. Who would have thought I would see such beauty on my walk through a parking lot, in a filthy little pond?
So, of course, this scenario got me thinking.
Those beautiful creations of God, were smack dab in the middle of ugliness. However, they were not screaming in defiance, or questioning why God allowed them to be there. What they were doing, was simply “being what God created them to be.” They were swimming in the water, looking for and receiving the food that God provided for them, basking in the sunshine, and feeling His breeze gently cooling their bodies. Instead of fighting and questioning every aspect of their life, they accepted the reality of their surroundings, and continued to be the beings that God created them to be. They radiated their individual beauty, from the midst of their unclean environment.
We, as Christians, are in the midst of some serious unclean circumstances. There is much garbage floating in our world, and the dirtiness and muckiness of evil and perversity, surrounds us at every turn. Although we are quite aware that we are also sinful in nature, we confess our sins and ask God for His forgiveness. We are called to find refuge and live a pure life in Him.
At times the evil of this world is overwhelming and we forget that we are in His care. We forget that Our Lord’s peace is not given to us as the world gives…and no matter how hard we scream and shout, and attempt to fight the evil around us through our human ways, some evil will always remain until Jesus’ second coming.
The key is knowing who we are. Who we belong to. When our hearts, souls and beings are safe in the love of Jesus, we are free to be ourselves in this unclean, evil world. We are free to live the Divine Purpose our God created uniquely for each one of us. We are free to simply just be…to thank God every day for the blessings He gifts us with, and to be happy and peaceful in our innermost being. When we invite the Holy Spirit into our hearts to fill us with His love and light, our natural God-given beauty will shine brightly as a beacon to others…our hearts that are one with Jesus will shine and illuminate the world around us, exposing the evil for what it is. And drawing in those who are living in darkness, and searching for the one true light.
Don’t be afraid to be the light in the darkness. Don’t be afraid to be the beauty among confusion, ugliness and despair. Find your true identity in the love and mercy of Jesus, and feel the freedom of simply “being what God created you to be.”