Friday, June 8, 2012

Beautiful Imperfection

Featured Journal Devotion

                                                                                          Beautiful Imperfection                        

   "For now we see things in a glass, darkly; but then face to face:  now my knowledge is in part; then it will be complete,  even as God's knowledge of me."   (1 Corinthians 13:12,  BBE)

My husband enrolled me in night classes for working with stained glass, thinking it would be a good fit for my creative bents.  I enjoyed the learning process.  Visited the teacher's shop at one point.  Shelves and tables stacked high, and boxes underneath overfilled with dusty, broken pieces of glass.  Some were milky with droozles of bright blues or reds or greens like a mad artist had flung his brush.  Others were solids with no special charm.  Some looked dark and foreboding.  But the artist knew to hold each piece up to the light.  That's where its beauty would suddenly become evident.  Even ambers and browns came to life with glints of gold.  Those with bubbles or ripples or scarring that had occurred during firing had special character and uniqueness.  And in the artist's hands, each piece would be expertly fitted for its perfect place in a destined design.

If my cousin had been a shard of glass in one of those boxes, she might have gone unnoticed by a shop visitor.  In her elementary years, she began walking in a gangly fashion, losing muscle coordination.  By the time she graduated high school, two men had to walk with her, helping her get to the stage to give her Valedictorian address.  Along with the advancement of her disease came wheel chairs, adult high chairs, therapies, surgeries, and eventually life support.
It would have been easy for my cousin to become a slave of self pity, become bitter against God, and jealous of others' lives.  But she loved Jesus, and His love was in her.  She loved to learn.  She loved people.  Willing to talk even if she was asked to repeat several times. Making jokes about her disabilities.  You couldn't help but enjoy being around her.

Once in a Wal-Mart store, a man came over to ask:  "Do you realize what it does to people to see you in your wheel chair, smiling and laughing?"  She was just recovering from surgery to reverse the muscles in her tightly drawn feet.  There was even hope that she might gain strength to stand or walk.  She said after the man walked away, she prayed, "Lord, if you will get more glory from me in a wheel chair, I don't want to walk."
Maybe you feel like a broken piece of glass in an overfilled box.  Darkened.  Imperfect.  Unnoticeable.  Unusable.  Scarred from the fire of life's trials.  Destiny lost.  Won't you take another look?  Hold your life up to the Person Who is the Light of the World.  If you could read God's lips, they would be saying, "Beautiful!"   The imperfection(s) that trouble you are where God has expertly etched character and uniqueness.  He is the One who is shaping you.  Trust Him.  Believe that in His design you have great purpose.  Cooperate with His hands on your life.  Let Him ready you for that perfect place in His masterpiece of Eternity.

Father, give us grace to submit to Your shaping.  When Satan tells us our lives are coming up zero, help us to see Your "L" in front of that zero, and Your "V" and "E" after it.  Because in the light of Your good love for us, we have great destiny.

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