Devotional 5/5/2020

I have probably shared this before but I love the hymn "Something Beautiful."  I used to sing it very often to my girls when they were babies and my older daughter will sometimes request it now at bedtime.  If you are unfamiliar with it here are the lyrics: 

Something beautiful, something good.  All my confusion he understood.  All I had to offer him was brokenness and strife but he made something beautiful with my life.  

I have always liked this song which is really just a chorus, but having my children really brought it to life for me.  My life is far from perfect and I am very far from perfect.  If you are looking for a pastor without sin and mistakes, you have not found her.   I am in many ways broken, tired, and often have to work very hard to choose God's ways over my own.  Yet, when I held my girls in my arms I could clearly see that God had made something beautiful with my life.  Furthermore God trusted me with this beautiful gift. 

I do not believe that God creates evil in this world or in our lives.  I do not believe that God rains natural disasters or disease down on us either as punishment.  I believe those happen because of free will and other factors but not God.  But I do believe that God is in each of those situations.  And if we are alert and can look for God, we will see that something beautiful can be borne out of nothing but strife and brokenness.  

You see this following heartbreaking tragedy when people take their grief and work towards making the world better for others.  You see this in cases of children who have been 'unwanted' finding homes where they are loved and cared for.  You see this when neighbors help neighbors following a natural disaster.  

And we can see it now.  COVID is not from God in any way.  But there can be beautiful things born out of horrible times.  God is at work in our midst.  It is our job to see it and then get on board.  Because God can make the something beautiful but then it is our job to help it blossom.  

An easy place I have seen something beautiful is how the community has supported the food pantry in Kilbourne.  Kilbourne and Ashley UMC members have sent us countless checks, cash and items.  And we also have neighbors of members and community members reaching out.  This is the best and longest we have worked with our entire community in a long time.  And that is beautiful.  

And there are plenty of other things of beauty I see being created.  From teachers and social workers figuring out how to do their jobs not just to get paychecks but to reach families.  From neighbors getting groceries for neighbors.  Adult children stepping up to help protect their parents.  And so on.  

Today I invite all of us to read Romans  8:18-30.  And I invite us to look for what is beautiful in the midst of this disease.  Focus your eyes and hearts on that.  And pray that you may always have the faith to see what beautiful thing God is doing and that you may have the courage and compassion to join in. 

With love,