“Your eyes will see the King in His beauty;…” Isaiah 33:17
“This life is hard, God,” I told the Lord as I sat on my bed beside my sweet dying dog Speckles. “But you are so beautiful.”
Quickly, I moved to my computer. I knew I had something vital to write. About the hardships of life. And God’s beauty.
See, it wasn’t so very long ago amid a decades-long history of trial upon trial, upon what for me has been extraordinarily hard though in the grand scheme of the world’s woes has in reality been absolutely thoroughly nothing compared with the hardships of countless others, that I would have sat staring at the hardship – and not gone any further.
If the truth be known, like so many other humans I believe, I have had a bad habit of staring at life’s trials and getting stuck in them, even swallowed up in them – and not seeing God’s beauty in the midst of them.
But that day, as the sunlight came in the window right by my dying dog, and yes, I had purposely placed her there on her bright pink blanket as her difficult breathing marked the quiet in the room where I sat with two other dogs as well, I saw so clearly what I had not seen before.
Hardships are not beautiful, are they? Trials and tribulations are hard, sometimes harder than description. So where is the beauty then? In Christ. What did I do that day? I in my heart turned my attention to glorious God. He is ALWAYS beautiful, ALWAYS magnificent, ALWAYS lovely and wonderful and gracious and kind and sweet and tender and lovingly tough when He needs to be and always forever. For those who follow Jesus, who believe in Him as Lord and live their lives accordingly, we are promised forever with God in heaven where no dogs will be dying of cancer and not a single hardship we face on this earth, no matter how small or indescribably humongous, will exist any longer.
There will be nothing more beautiful than the Lord Himself. And even now on earth we can choose to turn our stare away from the pain, hurt, loss, grief, etc. even if just for moments before we are sucked back into reality and what hardship we face rejoicing that no sunlight coming through a window can compare to the sunshine of His forever love, grace, mercy, light, and glory. I confess I looked back at my dying dog – and will look again at other challenges. But if only I can remember, if only we all remember, that even amid the hard places, we can turn our attention to the glory of the Lord, then we can find ourselves as I did that day. Smiling despite the sadness. Smiling because the greatest blessing in the universe is mine, and I am His. The beautiful, so beautiful Lord! Such beauty when we look to behold Him that all else even but for that moment shall slip away as we stare heavenward at the magnificent beauty of the Lord.