How easy it is to complain!
I whine most days about how tired I am. I object to extra meetings at work. I’m critical of everyone else driving on the highway if they’re not going as fast as I want them to. I inwardly protest against long lines at the grocery store.
There are those who may think I lead quite an unhappy life.
Yet I recognize how incredibly blessed I am.
I have a family whom I love, and they have their health. That’s not a given in life. I’ve had several friends die recently, and now my twin sister’s husband is in the hospital.
I have dear friends who are entering into yet another transition in their lives and are unsure of where they will live next year and what exactly they will do. I may whine about meetings, but I love my job. Plus I have a home that welcomes me every time I return to it.
Watching the news is disturbing. More mass shootings, wars in at least 27 regions of the world, and a country that’s greatly divided in what we as free people see as important.
It’s easy to complain because we’re all messy and broken, each of us knowing we could be better; each of us longing to be more competent and capable at something that matters.
We long for beauty in our lives, inward and outward.
Israel felt the same way. They’d been oppressed by other nations, held in bondage more times than they cared to think about, devastated by their own disobedience to God. He’d offered them blessings if they’d follow Him.
They wanted more options.
In the midst of all the hardships and suffering, God promised to restore to them what they had so easily given away–hope.
“To all who mourn in Israel, He will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair.” Isaiah 61:3a
Beauty for ashes. A picture of restoration and hope. To be made whole in God instead of feeling shattered by all the problems and complications of life.
The landscape of my life is pretty good, but God promises to make it more beautiful. Following and trusting in Him offers me a chance to experience His beauty and grace even in the midst of the ugliness that can be in this world.
How’s your landscape looking?
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