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Look for the Good--Part I

(originally posted March 18, 2019)

Could you use some encouragement? If so, I hope the following may help you to press on and not give up. Spring is certainly right around the corner (yay … finally)!

Perhaps you or a friend, however, may feel as though you are stranded, heading up a steep hill covered with frozen ice and snow, with no one to help, and the winter in your heart is determined to keep you stuck there.

May these words echo in your heart:

1. Look for the good; find the beauty in the midst of the pain.
2. Keep your tank full.
3. You are NOT alone.

BEAUTY AND PAIN

Perspective. Sometimes it's all about perspective.

I know some loved ones who love winter, some who think the snow is absolutely beautiful, and others who think it is a cumbersome pain in the neck. Surely it can be both, beautiful and painful all at the same time.

When you think about it, isn't that the way much of life is? In remembering most of the truly beautiful and profound moments of life, there seem to be elements of pain involved in the process, whether intense or simmering below the surface.

Giving birth is probably the most obvious example, as it contained some of the most intense pain of all my life, and at the same time was filled with some of the most profound joy. Think of the most beautiful moments in your life, and there were probably some portions of the experiences that were painful. The blessings and challenges of marriage. Comforting and holding the hand of a loved one as they passed into eternity. Watching a beautiful sunrise from a mountain top, after waking up at the crack of dawn and hiking up hill in the dark with only the light of a flashlight in order to do so.

Surely you have examples too. The most profound pain-beauty combo of all time is the crucifixion of Jesus and His subsequent resurrection. Surely, it would be so nice to have JUST the resurrection without needing to go through the crucifixion part, and most of us would prefer that! Truth is though, there could have been no resurrection without His crucifixion. Our child couldn't have been born if I hadn't endured the pain. I'd never have witnessed that sunrise if I hadn't gotten myself up on top of the mountain.

Surely, there are probably plenty of examples of things that are ONLY painful or ONLY beautiful, but if you have eyes to see, there are probably a whole lot more that have elements of BOTH, if you look deeply enough.

Are you enduring a painful time? if not you, maybe a friend? It is so easy to focus solely on the challenges, difficulty and pain. Perhaps there can be hope and encouragement found in looking for the beauty in the midst of the pain…. Having the heart of Christ, "who for the joy set before him endured the cross…" (Hebrews 12:2b)

And as Paul remarked in Philippians 3:10 "I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead." (NIV)

It is probably safe to say that we ALL want to experience beauty, joy and GOOD things. Probably just as true that, it is those who are willing to endure the painful moments, the challenges and roadblocks along the way that will end up where they need to be in order to receive those blessings. Only those who live in areas where it gets cold enough to snow can witness the beauty of the landscape draped in white.

Perspective indeed. Look up, and look deeper … look for the beauty.

Proceed to Part II

If you desire to know more about having a relationship with Jesus Christ, here is a wonderful resource to guide you:

In Jesus,

Lisa Prokopowitz

Posted on March 18, 2019

For more of Lisa's writings: www.shiningriver.com/meditations

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