Saturday, February 5, 2011

Finding Beauty

I’m in beautiful San Carlos, Mexico. It is cold here too, but cold is a relative term. The night before we left, the temp at home in Colorado plunged to an overnight low of 35 degrees below zero (with wind chill). That makes it hard to say it’s cold here when it reached 56 degrees yesterday, but locals are dressing in layers and long underwear. “Muy Frio!”

I love to be near the sea, calmed by its majesty and soothed by the beauty of His creation. Cold or not, we walked along the beach this morning dressed in hoodies and jackets. I wore both. Mike convinced me to shed my shoes and socks and walk barefoot on the sun-warmed sand. I was delighted by the foot massage.

John and Marjorie (my in-laws) met us on the beach. We are staying in their condo and they have been coming to San Carlos for nearly 20 years. Marjorie collects sea shells and her greatest treasure is a tiny shell with a slight pink tint. Some days she doesn’t find any, but this morning she found 13 as we walked along the water. The weather seems to have stirred things up a bit on the shore.

Marjorie told me this morning, “I’ve learned a lesson here.” She then explained, “When I search just for this one type of shell, I miss a lot of beauty.” Her message spoke clearly to my heart.

How many times have I missed something beautiful from the Lord because my focus is so firmly fixed on exactly what I want? How many blessings have I refused because they didn’t appear the way I thought they should? When we make our own plans and cement them in our hearts, we risk turning away what the Lord has for us. It begins to feel like an unwelcomed path – one we should not take because that is not where we planned to go – when, in fact, it is the most beautiful path of all.

I pray that I will be open to the Lord’s leading and not limit His work in my live to what I expect from Him. Lord, please help me to accept the plans you have for me and to find the beauty in each of them. Help me to put my trust in You alone, and help me want to turn when you ask me to turn. Fix my gaze upon You, my Lord, and not what I want from you.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)

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