Then Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes and let him see!” – 2 Kings 6:17 (NLT)
It’s spring time, and pollen is everywhere. New foliage is sprouting from every tree and shrub. For oak trees, the season is both fall and spring of sorts, as the new leaves push off the old ones from last year. We should know, as our property is covered in them.
When I need a brief distraction from a day’s work, I try to look outside one of my office windows. The above picture is one of those views from last week. As I was staring out the window, not looking for anything in particular, I noticed something I’d seen before but forgotten. Barely perceptible to my view, off in the distance, stood a lone azalea bush. How it got there, I have no idea. To my knowledge, the property next to ours has never been developed.
Had I not been paying attention, I would’ve missed it altogether. It’s bright fuchsia color stood in stark contrast to the darker browns and greens of its surrounding environment. But the density of foliage around it almost made me miss it altogether.
A thing of beauty, right in front of me. Yet, at the same time, completely hidden.
This seems a fitting metaphor for how our lives turn out sometimes. Amidst the drab and darker colors of our personal landscape, we sometimes fail to see the thing of beauty right in front of us. When we feel utterly overwhelmed by the “undeveloped” areas of our lives, we may not take the time to squint and look for things of beauty. Yet, could it be that God intentionally places such beautiful things right in the midst of it all? And even if we do manage to see it, do we allow ourselves to take it in and appreciate it, or do we return our gaze back to the overgrowth of briars and weeds, with our emotions following closely behind?
Don’t get me wrong. It’s not within my fallen nature to linger over beauty, let alone to look for it in the middle of the emotional jungle of my life. I guess that’s what made seeing this picture outside my window so particularly poignant the other day. It was a teachable moment for me.
When I’m overwhelmed by disappointment or when my circumstances don’t turn out as I had hoped, am I willing to look for the thing of beauty that may emerge as I look for God in the midst of such circumstances? After last week, I hope my answer is an unqualified “yes”.
What challenge or disappointment are you facing right now? Where might God be working in the background to lead you to a thing of beauty?