I happened upon a TV program this week about someone who has been traveling around the coastline of Ireland. The camera lens revealed some extravagant beauty, especially on the western side of the island. The western side is wide open to the atlantic ocean. For centuries the atlantic has been buffeting the shores with fierce swells. The result? A craggy shoreline of magnificent beauty etched into impressive giant rock, sheltering within its steeps, a myriad of hidden caves and inlets. The entire scene was breathtaking.
The eastern shore has its own beauty, too, but it’s calmer. Green fields spill out across the land until it meets with a much gentler shoreline. The eastern coast faces the mainland of Scotland and England and is protected from the wild waters of the atlantic. Both hold a beauty of its own, but for me, the buffeted rock of the western coast sustains a splendor that captures my eye and my heart.
As I contemplated this scene, the words of I Peter 1:6 came to mind: “Be truly glad! There is wonderful joy ahead, even though it is necessary for you to endure many trials for a while.” So many times in our journey, don’t we wish that getting through life’s difficulties was a whole lot easier? It’s tough, and it hurts to go through trials. Like the rocks on Ireland’s western shore, we feel continually beaten; savage winds assaulting our every hope of peace. We don’t want the battering of life’s turmoil, but if it must be so, we wish it would pass quickly. We spend so much time longing for the winds to subside, that we miss the loving molding of The Potter’s hands.
Our heavenly Father is always working to bring out exquisite beauty in our lives. He desires to adorn us with grace and elegance. He longs for us to stand strong against the savage gales that lash out and pound our worlds; but, how do we stand against such mighty forces? We lean into our heavenly Father. It is He who is surrounding us with His own strength and courage. He is our sturdy post to cling to in any tempest of trial. Therefore, since He is our post, take heart; you will not be smashed to pieces. No, you will be revealed as a mighty man or woman of God, ready to stand victorious and magnificent against anything the storm blows in. When you learn to lean into your Father in the midst of any treacherous gale, you will appear what He has been designing all along — an extravagant beauty. Therefore,“Be truly glad! There is wonderful joy ahead.”