Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Beauty Illuminates Beauty

 Exodus 34:29  It came about when Moses was coming down from Mount Sinai, that Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because of his speaking with Him.

My son is a horse trainer.  He has been trained to train horses but he has a natural gift from God to train horses and to train others to ride well.  Over the years I have watched him, do his work, and have been amazed at the lessons of God in life, that my son displays in his training of these animals and people to ride.

I remember such a time...he was breaking a very strong willed horse.  As he came out of the shoot of the horse arena, I noticed he had one of the horses legs tied up toward the horses chest.  The very strong horse came out limping, soon to fall on the ground.  My son got on this huge, beautiful animal and stood on his back hips.  As the horse struggled against my sons weight and the horses own weight it could not get up.  My son just remained as the struggle went on for quiet a while.  He did not leave him alone to struggle.

When the horse stopped the struggle my son got off the horse.  Untied the horses leg and rode him off.  The horse followed my sons lead.  It was a beautiful sight to behold.  The horse was a reflection of my sons training.  He had become the beautiful horse he was meant to be.  I don't know if my son still breaks wild bucks this way. He has gotten other training since that time when he was young.  I have not seen him do it since but it was a valuable lesson I don't want to forget.

So are we when we go through suffering and hardship.  God is always training us, but I believe especially during these times of pain and finding our own weakness, does He do His greatest work in our lives to break our strength and cause us to depend or to lean into Him.  C.S.Lewis says something like God whispers in our good times but shouts in our suffering.  

It is a beautiful thing God has done in me through my suffering with the mental disorder and my relationships. I have such a peace and joy and love I have never had before. I would never have said that before for fear it sounds prideful.  But I am boasting in my weakness, and in the glory of God. I know it is not of me but of Him, who lives in me. 

When God does such a work of taking a strong, dependent person and walks them through the valley of the shadow of death, He goes with them.  He never leaves them.  He is training them, breaking them, making them all they can be to the glory of God.  He is teaching them, like my son did his horse, He can be trusted.  We can follow Him.  That our pain and suffering is actually for our good and for the glory of God.  We may not see this in the midst of the suffering but it will become evident, in times of suffering.

When this happens it is like the very face of God has shinned on us.  When we are transformed and being transformed our face shines as did Moses because we have had such an encounter with the living God.  We are changed.  We shine with the light of Jesus.  We are told to let our light shine before men.  This is the very light and glory of God that is illuminated in us to love others.  It is a transformation. He takes us from glory to glory.  We radiate, gleam, glow, glisten, sparkle, we actually glimmer with the love of Christ.  We reflect His glory, His love.  We are the reflection of Christ.  We begin to love as He has loved us and we wonder...where does this love and humility come from.  It comes from our great rider and trainer, the Lord.

We are actually dying to ourselves so more of the Jesus who lives in us shines through us and not our strong wills or selfish ways.  It is a changing into the very likeness of Christ.  This is an on going process throughout our lives until we see Him face to face.  We are in the presence and direction of the great rider, the Holy Spirit.  We are becoming who we are truly meant to be, to love God and others and enjoy God all to His glory.  We begin to live for God instead of ourselves.  We actually lose ourselves in Him and at the same time find who we are meant to be, created in His image.

As you look at these pictures of Sarah, my sons finance, notice several things.  Notice her reins around the neck of the horse.  How she leads, tightens and lessons the pressure of the reins. Notice the obedience and beauty of the horse. How they are in step with each other as her motion coincides with the run of the horse. Notice the refection of the Son on them both.  The beauty of all around as the wind blows through her hair and how the horse runs into the wind.  How they both reflect the beauty of the Son and the training and hours they have spent together.  We reflect His beauty in such a way.  Notice their enjoyment of each other and how proud Sarah is of her horse.  Tim Keller says we will be put on display in heaven as we are trophies of His grace.  We become a thing of beauty because of the Great Rider we have.  So we are a person of beauty by His beauty...