“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.”
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:8-11,16-18
From above, tufted fluffs of cloud were strewn like dirty cotton, mussing the floor of heaven and shadowing the ceiling for those below. Except the light-kissed ones. Dawn’s early light touched the tops of a scattered few, turning them the sweetest rose, spotting that lumpy stretch with bits of beauty. And so does the Lord of heaven and earth tinge our shadows with glimmers of His grace.
We are afflicted in many ways, and perplexed. In the course of our days we get struck down and pushed back- in our efforts, our mental meanderings, our best intentions. But none of this compares with the glory to be revealed! Let us not lose heart at momentary and temporal afflictions, but look for the rose tint on each one! We must keep looking until we sense the divine touch of mercy, comfort, enabling, and hope. There is no shroud of clouds that our Sovereign cannot penetrate and scatter. In the meantime, He kisses sweetness upon the very shapes and turns of moments we would not choose, but He readies to redeem.
And we can be that glint of light to others in our circles of influence, which likely extends beyond what we imagine. Our eternal vision can cast the long view for those entrenched in troubles, and our confidence in God’s promises can lift them above trite to substance. Faith tested and proved is faith another can observe, and want. A cheerful countenance is like good medicine. Even a smile, accompanied by eyes afire with holy joy, warms one whose heart and outlook are cold. Would we turn our heavenly hope into a blessing for another? (Proverbs 17:22)
“The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.” (Numbers 6:24-26)
How might we bring a tint of benevolence, and touch of grace, a shade of beauty to another’s gloom? Will we speak the comforting word, lend the helping hand, give the hours to sit and listen and appreciate and bless? Where will we cast a hope light today that leaves someone less burdened? When we are filled with the light of life, we will shine it abroad from our hearts to dispel darkness to those around us. (Matthew 5:14-16; Romans 5:5)
Lord, may I relish Your beauties, and intentionally bless others with Your light.