Do you enjoy your life? Do you relish in the people you call your own? Do you find delight in your home and take pleasure in the tasks that fill your days? Do you savor your story as each page is written?
I wish I could always and undeniably say “YES!” to these questions. However, if I’m honest I’ll admit, at times the hardship of a season, the pain of unanswered prayers or even the mountain of to-dos captivate my attention more than the beauty in my life.
Here’s the thing. Both are true. Both pain and beauty are present in our lives each day. For all our days both will be true. We live in the tension between the two, and for the love, I know it can feel tense! But, both are true.
My life and yours has pain. There are legitimate stressors that are far from ideal- maybe those you hold most dear are walking through the fire, maybe diagnoses are hanging in the balance, or perhaps you aren’t getting much sleep and that in and of itself is enough to push you past your limits! I have so been there! While the details of our discomfort will likely shift, change, and possibly be recycled, one thing is clear- on earth, we will always experience some pain.
The foil is also true.
My life and yours holds beauty. There is the wild beauty of God continually pursuing us. The deep joy found in His presence. Then, there is the delight we find in our spouses, children, and closest friends. The shared moments of vulnerability in which we are known and fully accepted. There is also the pure enjoyment of going on a long hike, savoring a good meal or noticing how beautiful the sky is. Even in our darkest seasons, there is beauty.
The tricky part is that on any given day the pain and beauty vary in amount. Can I get an Amen?! Some seasons I struggle to find the beauty amidst the pain and find myself grateful for things like toilet paper! Other seasons the beauty is so lush and overwhelming it’s as if I’m disconnected from the yet-to-be-redeemed areas of my life. For the record- I love those times.
What I’ve learned is that locating the beauty in the midst of pain is a discipline. It starts as a proverbial weak muscle. I mean, it’s hard to delight in the simple pleasures of a hug, good cup of coffee, or soft bed when you are grieving, interceding for another, or struggling with anxiety! Nonetheless, there is beauty present. Remember, there is always pain AND there is always beauty.
I imagine you don’t need much help identifying the pain! But, perhaps your soul could use a refresher on recognizing the beauty. Just as an art appraiser trains their eyes to notice what they are looking for, we can train our eyes to see the beauty! This is excellent news.
When I’m going through a hard time I know it’s best to keep everything as simple as possible. It can honestly be simple to find the beauty in your life and to enjoy it.
The first step is to remind yourself there is beauty, even here. Choose to shake off the bad attitude that so often accompanies trying times and remind yourself of truth! Remember, there is always pain, and there is always beauty, just not in equal amounts.
The second step is asking the only one who can help, for some help! Ask the Holy Spirit to give you the grace to see the beauty in your day. Ask Him to highlight the things He placed in your day for your pleasure. He is so faithful in this!
The third step can be especially tricky for all my strong-willed friends (and me!). We must acknowledge and even embrace the beauty He gives us despite our pain. Hear me out; to enjoy beauty in the middle of the valley doesn’t mean you commit defeat; it doesn’t mean you approve of your circumstances or stop working towards a solution. It does means you choose to acknowledge beauty even in the worst of times.
Dear One, your current situation might hold a whole lot more pain than beauty. I am confident God wants to show you the beauty, even in the middle of your pain. In this way, He wants to offer you relief! Will you lean in and let Him show you how to enjoy moments of beauty even in the pain?
Today, I noticed beauty in:
The sun’s warmth on my face.
A tasty lunch full of vibrant colors and flavors.
A friend’s confident smile at me as I shared my heart.
A long hug from my husband.
My puppy’s ever-loyal following me throughout my home.
Where did you notice beauty in your day?