Some experiences in life, some events and outcomes can be unbearably dark, sad and painful. Others are inexpressibly beautiful, powerful and fulfilling. Even the simplest pleasures such as watching a sunset or feeling gentle raindrops on bare skin can be moving moments. And of course, to love and to be loved are blessings beyond words…
(Nils Frahm, “Ode”)
Life has been likened to a tapestry. On the work side-representing everyday life-are all the knots and unrecognizable shapes, but when you turn it over, when you look at the finished product on the other side, you see the complete and perfect design. And sometimes, usually only when life is good, it’s almost possible to see apparently painful events as being “beautiful” in their own way, for the reason that life itself-just being alive and cognizant- is an incredible gift that we take for granted far too often.
One thing is certain in my mind: God, who, when he had created the earth and all of life, saw that it was “very good”* (how can God not make an understatement in human language?) has also said in effect, “Wait…I can do better”.
The beauty that surrounds us now is just a warm-up for the real thing:
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride, beautifully dressed for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21: 1-4 NIV).
Almighty God, I thank you for my life, and for all the things you’ve blessed me with. Thank you for all the people who’ve crossed my path, and all the amazing things you’ve allowed me to experience, though I deserve nothing good from you. Most of all, Lord God, thank you that through your Son you’ve chosen to create for me…for us…something even better”
* Genesis 1: 31