The sky was painted with the most gorgeous pinks, oranges, yellows, and blues. I couldn’t resist taking a photograph of how they highlighted the Blue Ridge Mountains. Even my 3 year old piped up from the back seat, “Mom! Take a picture! Take a picture of the sunset!” It was a work of art we didn’t want to forget.
“Do you know why they sky is made up of these colors tonight,” my husband asked. “The storm?” I knowingly and softly responded with a twinge of pain and maybe even a little guilt for enjoying something so beautiful that was the byproduct of something so destructive and ugly for thousands of other people somewhere else on the planet under the sky we all share.
My feelings shifted as I saw how much this reminded me of my own life’s picture. It isn’t perfect. And so many times, it’s frankly ugly when I’m in the midst of a destructive storm. But with a bit of distance and a broader perspective to how it fits into the entire picture of me and how the entire picture of me fits into the gallery of God…I begin to see the colors, painted together in beauty, highlighting the mountains in the distance that perhaps, I’ve even hiked with labored breath and pain in my joints. And I remember that the byproduct of the storm can give way to far away beauty that I can’t see when the rains are pounding down on my life and the waves are destroying things that I value and love.
Storms can cause deep grief, loss, pain, destruction, and death. And just like it’s right for sadness, rage, tears, wailing, and pleas for help in an actual storm, it’s right for all those things to happen in a storm of life. But just like in a real storm, it’s also right to desperately hope for beauty, redemption, comfort, rescue, and peace. It’s there. Often, you just can’t see beauty in the middle of the storm like you can several hundred miles away from it.
Today, I’m praying that whatever storm your facing is calmed by the presence and power of Jesus. And I’m also praying that you’ll hang on to the hope He offers.
There’s more. There’s a painted sunset several hundred miles from you. It’s a byproduct of your storm. Your picture will not remain ugly. There is beauty to behold from the One who makes all things new. Don’t lose hope, dear one. You’re going to see more.