You are in for a real treat! My friend, Brittany, from 17 Hours Days is guest posting today. When I first met Brittany online, I knew she was a go-getter! I love her writing and her heart for reaching others for Christ.
When you think about beauty, what do you think about? Do you think about flowers, sunsets or beaches? Maybe celebrities or other beautiful women you admire? Maybe the sight of your newborn child looking up at you for the first time? What about the rocks in your backyard?
Wait, you don’t associate rocks with beauty? (Don’t worry, I don’t either.)
The picture above is a picture I took of a rock I found in my backyard. There’s nothing really pretty about it. It’s dirty. It’s misshapen. It’s not really unique or special in any way. Sure, it’s functional (it came out of my husband’s fire pit), but Beautiful? Valuable? Not really.
Now consider this picture Elizabeth took of a rock she found in HER backyard.
This rock looks just like the one I photographed–except that somehow it’s so much more beautiful. There are subtle lights and shadows on the rock that give it added dimension. It completely pops off the crisp white snow in the background so it catches your eye. And even though it’s just a picture of a rock with some shoots in the background, somehow it is just so full of hope and beauty.
What makes this rock different from the rock that I took a picture of? Is it made out of something different, something less rock-y? Is it inherently better or more valuable? Why is this rock more beautiful than the rock I took a picture of, when they are both just rocks we found in our backyards?
The reason this rock is more beautiful than the first? You are seeing it through a different lens.
Elizabeth is a photographer. I’m not. When I see a rock in my backyard, I see a potential safety hazard. She sees beauty. I see the rock for its flaws. She sees rocks (and water droplets and snowflakes) for their inherent, God-given beauty.
I think the same thing happens when we view ourselves.
When I look at myself in the mirror (and I know you do it too!)—all I see are my flaws. My make-up is smeared. It’s 4 pm and I’m in my husband’s oversized, baggy pajamas with no intention of changing. I probably have food or spit-up or something smeared in my hair. I still have a few pregnancy pounds to lose. The list goes on and on. Sure I’m functional. But beautiful? That’s a different story.
But it IS a different story to God. When God looks at us, He doesn’t concentrate on all of our flaws and failures like we do. Instead, He sees something much more valuable and beautiful than we tend to.
Just consider these verses:
Genesis 1:26 “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”
We are created in God’s image.
Genesis 1:31 “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.”
God declared that we are good.
1 Corinthians 3:16 “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?”
Our bodies are temples of God.
1 Peter 3:3-4 “Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.”
God finds our gentle and quiet spirit beautiful and valuable.
Matthew 10:29-31 “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows”
We are valuable to God.
All too often when we look at ourselves through our own lens or through the lens of the world, we see our flaws and come to the conclusion that we are nothing special. We aren’t that beautiful. We aren’t that valuable. Why would anyone pick us?
But when we stop and look at ourselves through God’s lens, we see a much different story. Through God’s lens, we are valuable, unique, special and cherished. He loves us. He delights in us. He sent His one and only Son to die for us so that He would never have to live apart from us.
And that’s pretty beautiful, indeed.
Brittany is a stay-at-home wife and mother who loves Jesus and who loves helping other people fall in love with him too. When she isn’t busy picking up toys or changing diapers for her two little boys, she blogs about finding God in the midst of it all on her blog 17 Hour Days. You can find Brittany on Facebook, Twitter and Bloglovin’.