One thing I try to avoid is establishing life principles that sound pleasant theoretically but have no practical application. Sometimes circumstances arise that cause you to question how solid and reliable your principles actually are. For example, I suppose most readers have guessed by now that one of my principles is to deliberately look for beauty even when it’s seemingly absent or difficult to find — in short, to “see beauty.” Recently it’s been challenging to find any connection between “seeing beauty” and dealing with stressful situations. Honestly, there’s nothing glamorous about falling asleep at a desk or lying awake feeling lonesome or missing time with people you love because other demands are too great. But at the same time, it is important not to force difficulties into the past without taking the opportunity to learn from them.
Here are a few I’ve been thinking about.
Maybe if it seems like everyone is frequently critiquing or criticizing your work, it’s because they believe that you are capable of something better … something best.
Maybe there’s something to be said for sleepless nights because it means you are remembering a time that was better than a dream.
Maybe if your world is beginning to seem very small it’s because you’re about to embark on something a great deal larger.
Maybe if everything just seems hard, it’s not such a bad thing because everything you conquer is strength gained.
Maybe if you feel very inadequate, it’s because you’re catching a vision for who you’re meant to be.
No matter how difficult, uncomfortable, awkward, strained, crunched, or desperate a situation may seem, God is ready to show Himself faithful and supply grace to those in need. (2 Corinthians 12:9: “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” You see? The imperfections are part of the plan.)
Lest anyone think that I constantly see the world through rose-colored glasses, let me assure you that I write these things as much for my own benefit as anyone else’s. It is hard to remain optimistic when days seem too long, nights seem too short, and every hour presents its own challenge. Sometimes you must walk on even when part of you wants to stop. But no matter where you are, cruising or crawling, Jesus will meet you there.
The soul that sees beauty may sometimes walk alone. Look for beauty … fight for it … and when you find it, don’t let it go.