So, Spring has sprung. This week Spring officially began and here in North Carolina it definitely feels like it – the sun is out, the temperature is up and Spring Break is almost here.
This week I have been re-reading Ecclesiastes and have lingered on this verse: ‘He has made everything beautiful in its time.’ (3:11). It is probably the verse of Ecclesiastes that is quoted the most, but it hasn’t lost its power. Overused or not, it has a message we no doubt all need to hear.
Our God is a creator God, but he is also a creative God. He makes thing beautiful not because they need to be, but because He takes delight in them. Here in North Carolina I have been walking a lot and have spotted the state bird, the cardinal, often. It is a beautiful,vibrant red colored bird and every time I see it I’m struck by how beautifully striking it is. God didn’t need to make it that way – it would fly just fine if it were a dull brownish color. But it isn’t. God chose to make it striking and beautiful.
That isn’t to say that God makes things beautiful just because. Each thing He makes is made with purpose. And that includes us: we are beautiful and we have a purpose in Him.
This is perhaps the part of this verse I love most. It doesn’t say He will make everything beautiful in it’s time, it says He already has.
I have a tendency to be quite hard on myself. I don’t always look at myself and see something beautiful. Often I think, ‘One day I might be beautiful’. It’s easy to think that, and yes, we are unfinished. We have more to do and more to give and are always becoming more the disciple God wants us to be. But it’s a comfort to know that I don’t have to jump through a particular hoop or break a record in anything to be beautiful in God’s eyes. The truth is that He has already made me beautiful. He’s just waiting for me to believe that too.
Yes, everything. And yes, beautiful. My waist size has grown substantially since I moved to the States. Still beautiful. I make mistakes frequently, lose my temper or say or think something less than positive. Still beautiful. I don’t always forgive easily. Still beautiful. And all this, because our beauty is not the world’s beauty. We are not beautiful because we meet a certain standard, but because we are made by a beautiful and loving God. Even in our brokenness, God makes us beautiful.
“…in its time.”
God’s timing is perfect, it’s just hard to understand sometimes. We want everything immediately, but God works to His time-frame, not ours. And a good thing that He does, too. His perfect timing is on show all around us, in the seasons, in the flowers budding and blooming at just the right time. I’d be lying if I said I have never been frustrated with God’s timing. But there have been more times that I have been thankful, that I have recognized how God works for our good at just the right time.
Spring is my reminder of that truth.