See God's Beauty
Have you ever been on a hike? You prepare yourself for a long day or few hours of climbing, walking, going through the wilderness, following trails. There's a reason we feel so much closer to God when we're out in nature, the beauty of life around us is the very definition of 'Good' given from God. I know for myself, if I go for an early morning run on the trails, right during the time where everyone is just starting to get up, you can feel the peace and beauty even more through silence, taking everything in. How often do we stop and take time to admire and observe, not just rushing through the day? Just like on a hike, or a morning run, you can walk through, lost in thoughts and pass by everything without taking notice, or with every step, you hit pause on the brain and admire the life God has given you, and everything surrounding it.
Today's Gospel states:'And they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them; and they were amazed, and those who followed were afraid. And taking the twelve again, he began to tell them what was to happen to him, saying, "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man will be delivered to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death, and deliver him to the Gentiles; and they will mock him, and spit upon him, and scourge him, and kill him; and after three days he will rise." And James and John, the sons of Zeb'edee, came forward to him, and said to him, "Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you." And he said to them, "What do you want me to do for you?" And they said to him, "Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory." But Jesus said to them, "You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?" And they said to him, "We are able." And Jesus said to them, "The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared." And when the ten heard it, they began to be indignant at James and John. And Jesus called them to him and said to them, "You know that those who are supposed to rule over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you; but whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of man also came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many"' (Mark 10:32-45).
Today's Gospel talks about how we need to be able to face the journey ahead, just as Jesus did for us, bearing the cross. We need to bare our own crosses, be sacrificial, be the last so to help those in need. It's a challenge. However, amongst all of this, we need to prepare for the present, for every moment that comes to pass, and acknowledge God working in every moment. We need to see the beauty in every day, as a part of being God's people. Take some time to ask God to help you take time to see the beauty in creation each day.
Today's prayer comes from 'the Gospel Coalition' a prayer for seeing God's beauty in everything:
Dear heavenly Father, it’s only through the gospel of your grace that I’ve come to know you to be a beautiful God. Before then, your loveliness was veiled to me, mostly by the darkness of my unbelief. But now, your splendor outshines the sun; your excellences stagger my imagination; and your kindness melts my heart.
I see your beauty in the things you have made. Open my eyes wider, Father. Grant me jaw-dropping wonder as I come even more alive to your fingerprints everywhere. Your great artistry, and the joy you experienced creating a world, loudly declare your glory.
I see your beauty in people—all kinds of people. Really, in every person, if I take time to look. Oh, Father, continue to heal my vision of people. Though we’re all broken, yet as your image bearers, each of us reveals glimmers and glimpses of your loveliness. Forgive me when I see anybody’s brokenness, to the exclusion of his or her beauty.
I see your beauty in Jesus. Indeed, Father, I’ve come to behold your beauty most expresslyand fully in Jesus. No one has ever seen you completely—in the fullness of your glory and being; but Jesus, your Son, at your side, has made you known to us (John 1:18). Hallelujah, many times over, for this gift—this incomparable honor and privilege. In Jesus, I see the magnificence of your mercies, the grandeur of your grace, and the wonders of your love. Show me more, Father; show me more and more and more.
I long for the Day when we will see the unfettered undiminished beauty of your face (Rev. 22:4); for that will be our first Day in the new heaven and new earth. Hasten that Day, LORD. Until then, I bless you for your commitment to make all things beautiful in their time—including us, your children. So very Amen I pray, in Jesus’ tender and triumphant name.