I was driving down a tree-shaded country road a few days ago, enjoying the view while thinking about the goodness of the Lord.
I could feel joy and wonder and gratitude welling up inside of me. I began thanking God for His extreme mercy, goodness and grace in my life. I started to recall times of conviction, healing, repentance, blessing, freedom, struggle, fear, peace, comfort, worry and anxiety, faith and trust…
So many memories jumbled up together, opposites and contradictions, yet clarity and coherence at the same time. I marveled at God’s ability to take ugly, seemingly overwhelming incidents and obstacles and turn them into something beautiful and right. To make the crooked things in my life straight; to heal bruised and wounded places; to bring joy and laughter back after dark and painful times.
The revelation of God’s love for me continued to increase until my focus was solely on the Lord. I could see Him in my mind, simultaneously high and lifted up in glory, but also battered and bruised on the cross. I became overwhelmed by His sacrifice on humanity’s behalf…on my behalf…then the following words flowed forth from my lips:
“You are so beautiful, Lord.”
As I heard the phrase in my own ears, the true meaning of the word beautiful came into view. My mind filled with thoughts of mercy, kindness, humbleness, gentleness, compassion, patience, freedom, hope, faithfulness, forgiveness, joy, sacrifice and of course, unconditional, unwavering love…all attributes of the One I love, yet have never seen face to face.
And yet I have seen Him and He is beautiful to behold.
In my youth I was obsessed with physical beauty and perfection, but as I spend more time with my wonderful Lord, my primary desire is to become like Him. Physical beauty will fade but the beauty that comes from a life conformed to the image of Christ increases with time.
“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”