Wednesday, February 19, 2014

365 Days with God - Day 61: Beauty and the Beast

I'm giving myself a challenge. Read the Bible each day for a whole year, following the ESV Study Guide 1-year plan. Each day, I will post whatever God has revealed to me in His Word, and how it is changing me. A friend of mine once said that nothing has changed her life as much as reading the bible each day - and I'm excited for how this will change me. Join me on an adventure into the heart of God - and day by day, we can learn more about who He is and what that means to us!

- Andy Catts

Day 61, February 19, 2014
Readings: Psalm 61, Exodus 5:1-23, Exodus 6:1-9, 2 Chronicles 34, Romans 1:18-32

Our world is filled with incredible beauty, and incredible pain. The majesty of the mountains, the crashing waves of the sea, the majesty of the Serengeti. Children laughing, people serving one another, a mother's love for her children. But in stark contrast stands so much ugliness. War, drugs, slavery and more.

Despite our desire to think otherwise, humanity is the cause of all the hurt and pain. God made the mountains, the sea, and us in His image so that we could have the capability to love, to serve, to create. But we are not good by default. We are the beast.

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has show it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. (Romans 1:18-25)

I won't carry on - the rest of the passage is a disturbing treatise on humanity's (you and I included) shortcomings. f you've ever seen or heard the Beauty and the Beast tale (I have 2 daughters, so it is firmly implanted in my skull) you know that there is a beast. A horrible, horrible Beast. Cursed to be incapable of love, selfish and cruel in every way, he is sequestered in his castle until the most unlikely thing happens. A beautiful young girl comes along, and shows him how to love. How to care. How to be gentle.

We are the beast. We are incapable of love, trapped in our world, unable to see the freedom that comes from giving up our love for self. God is the beauty. He enters our story, enters our dungeon of loneliness, strife and malice to bring light into the darkness. Jesus shows us how to love. How to be whole. How to be free.

I rejoice in the day that God came into my life and saved me from myself. Gave me hope. Gave me freedom. Showed me how to be different. In the story there is only one Beast, one Beauty. But God is big enough for all of us. His love extends to me, and you, and everyone else who is willing to listen. Will you listen to His whispers to your heart? His call to leave the selfishness and broken life behind?

No comments: