GOD’s Beauty in Unexpected Places

Your beauty is in the hidden places ready to delight those who have eyes to see. Lord, teach us to see!

by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro (c) 2011   www.holyspiritpress.org   www.eaglesnestfoundation.org

I have had the privilege of being in Cleveland the past few days dropping off one of our daughters for her first year of college where she will be studying nursing.  This afernoon while she was at orientation, the Lord led me to the shores of Lake Erie (which is near campus) to go for a walk.

At initial glance the path was not what I had been expecting.  Indeed the lake is beautiful, appearing more like an ocean where as far as the eye can see the distant horizon meets the sky.  However, the shoreline where I found access was actually no shoreline at all, but a man-made barrier constructed of large boulders and cement seemingly to hem the Great Lake in so that there is no erosion when waves surge during winter and storms.

There was a walkway, but where I had expected and hoped it would be a place where I could connect with God, initially it was not.  Cars on the freeway roared adjacent and an older brick factory loomed on the freeway’s opposite side.  As attractive as the factory was, it was not the time in “God’s creation” I had been anticipating all weekend.

Still it was a place to walk and so I meandered along the paths made by the cement and atop the boulder barriers.  At the Holy Spirit’s prompting, I walked around again.

The first time all I saw was ugly, necessary rock tossed into place by human machinery which seemed to have been infiltrated over the years by weeds. But as I began the second time around, God began to fill me with an increase of His peace and nudged me simultaneously to slow down and really look. 

Instead of weeds, these were plants and flowers growing in between the jagged boulders.  Where one would think nothing could grow, elements of God’s beauty found a way to be and thrive, but God had had to slow me down and give me eyes to see (and I had to be willing to pause and look). 

Moment by moment with every new step I took, He opened my eyes to more. The first plant I noticed was wild grapes. The vines climbed over many of the boulders and ripe dark grapes ready to be harvested were abundant in the late afternoon sunshine.  Then wherever I looked next there seemed to be one more type of flower which had found a way to grow in the harsh environment in which it found itself.

And I thought of our lives and how many times all we can see are the huge boulders which may be a part of our circumstances by necessity, but on initial glance appear completely ugly, creating a dangerous but necessary obstacle with no beauty at all.  And yet, if God can cause beauty to grow in these man-made boulder barriers, how much more can He do it in every aspect of our lives. ~ Elizabeth

PRAYER

Lord, give us eyes to see Your beauty in the hard and ugly places.  Help us to see not just ugliness, but to recognize the small bits of beauty which You cause to grow between the rocks.  By the leading and power of the Holy Spirit, use us in the lives of others to be the beautiful wildflowers and grapes growing inbetween the harsh boulders and barriers which sometimes surround them.  Let Your love be the water which nourishes these plants and may each person in whose presence You place us, gradually become a planting of beauty in rough, unwelcome places to bless others as well.  In Jesus’ name, Amen

  

 

 

 

 

                                 

END

PLEASE remember to view the new song, “ONE NATION UNDER GOD” on youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d593RguxQI8&feature=share  SHARE the link!  Let’s let everyone know that the USA is and remains one nation under God and be encouraged in how God values every individual.

Elizabeth Fulgaro is a wife, mother, writer, inspirational speaker, worship leader, composer, singer & recording artist.  She is also a Certified Financial Planner and Accredited Financial Counselor with a heart for helping Christians understand and steward their finances God’s way. 

For books, worship cds, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Fulgaro or to schedule her to come speak to your group please visit www.holyspiritpress.org  Worship music audio clips can be found at www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro For information on her work for the military and their families please visit www.eaglesnestfoundation.org   Eagles Nest Foundation is a 501(c)3 corporation. Contributions are tax-deductible.

Author: Elizabeth Fulgaro

I am a God-seeker--a Jesus-worshipper--a Holy Spirit follower. I create songs, devotions, prayers, books and Bible studies to give words with which to get to know God more. For you. Its for one-on-One encounter unto transformed, transcendent living. This is not my vocation. I am not professional. I am a real, ordinary person just looking to do what God put me here to do. (You have a unique purpose too.) So I am called to the work. It is not my income source, but my gift to those who find it blessing. Eagles Nest Foundation sponsors all projects for you. The result: pure, clean spiritual nutrition to feed that deep insatiable spiritual hunger which eventually overtakes each of us and galvanizes you to the life God has for you. This life is purposeful. Exceptional. You--yes, you--are called to something greater and more satisfying in His service. So it is hoped you'll try this spiritually dense nutrition and find it to be a personal blessing. However, the goodness of God-following doesn't stop there. He uses those who seek Him to be His love and care (justice, mercy, advocate, kindness) very tangibly in the lives of those around you. Not by your power but by His. His ideas. God ideas. Not just good ideas. To be part of changing the world, if you will let Him. You learn to just follow where He leads. That if you listen, He will teach you to hear His voice and then when you obey His inner promptings you will become His incredible hands and feet in this hard world. These materials will help! They will help you aim your life towards God in a way you never look back. You will not be the same. He will become the River in your desert spaces and you will become a conduit of this same River of refreshing, replenishing Water of Life to others. Find a prayer. Pick a blog post. Read a book. Be led deeper into the Bible. Select a song which resonates and use it and use it again to go close and ever closer to the God who longs to draw you near. Oh, and don't be tempted to think I'm a crazy over-spiritualized loony...My background is financial planning and counseling. Almost 40 years of it. To choose to believe in God is not to leave practicality and reason behind, but to learn that there is that which goes beyond it and includes it, unto true life fulfillment beyond all your dreams for the one who keeps seeking Him. I am a third generation Californian. I am a person to whom family means everything. The only priority higher is God. The foothills of the Sierra Nevada are my home. It is here the 1849-1856 Gold Rush is still glorified. Easy money? Actually only for the few. Even though I was raised in the Church, it took me ten years of doubting God even existed to realize that without Him, no matter how much of this life's "stuff" is accumulated, I actually have nothing. To come to know that all those who chased after gold are dead and all those who still chase stuff will be dead. That's when I became a God-seeker. Looking for that more. And Eureka! (This is California's state slogan and means I found it.) I found God...or rather, I discovered He was there and had been there waiting for me to look for Him the whole time. May you discover more of Him for you, greater flourishing life and greater flourishing for all in the world as well. God bless you! ~Elizabeth

2 thoughts on “GOD’s Beauty in Unexpected Places”

  1. Thank you LORD for opening our eyes for YOUR beauty, even if we do not recognize it at first sight.

    It remains true: YOUR beauty can be seen in the most ugly environments.

    But PLEASE give us more of YOUR spirit to see more of YOU. Amen

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