I’m sitting on the patio at our middle daughter’s rented reconditioned print-shop-turned-bungalow in upstate New York. At this writing, Christmas is but a few days hence, but my hopes for a white one are completely dashed since, opposite of last year’s white out, this year will probably be one of the warmest on record for this area.
Dang! I was hoping to be snowed in up here for a while!
No matter. Resiliency is allowing for me to be outside in the morning right now while the rest of the household is sleeping. So wrapped in a woolen blanket and sipping my hot tea, I am thoroughly enjoying the Canada geese flying overhead and the sound of the very not-frozen river adjacent to her property. Not what I had in mind, but beautiful, just beautiful.
My feet are propped up on a plastic Adirondack wanna-be, and I notice the symmetry of this man-made chair. Cut it down the middle and you have two identical pieces, interchangeable with any of the other chairs on the patio. Or in the store. Or in the factory for that matter. Functional, I suppose. Mass production and all that.
Then my eye drifts upward and I see the trees right in front of me growing on this piece of the Catskills—their tangled limbs and different colored bark. No symmetry whatsoever, but oh! so much more beautiful. The geese flying overhead don’t make that perfect “V” either, nor does the steam from my hot tea escape into the atmosphere in just the same way (‘cuz I checked…)
Come to think of it, our idiom “ducks in a row” isn’t exactly correct either. (Have you ever really watched ducklings following their mom??)
I could go on, but the analogy is everywhere in nature. Beauty does not come from conformity, but it does come from unity. But to go even deeper than that, what seems to be chaos in my life circumstance, when truly given to God and trusted to His sovereign, loving wisdom and timing, is beauty in the making—
He is the one Who twists the branches just so, Who makes the geese to fly in ever-fluid formation, and causes the water to dance to its own music as it rushes down the mountainside.
“Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.”
He alone truly understands the pain in my heart, the confusion and impatience when my life’s “branches” are being uncomfortably twisted in ways I would not choose. I want symmetry, but He is creating beauty.
The deer just appeared. Perfect timing…
…just like God.
“The LORD will work out his plans for my life—for your faithful love, O LORD, endures forever.”
Ecclesiastes 3:11 , Psalm 138:8 New Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.