Wednesday, April 23, 2014

"Everything Beautiful" by Karen Cone

Ecclesiastes 3:11 “He has made everything beautiful in its time.”


When my youngest son, Levi, was three years old, he asked me, "When I get big, will I turn into another person?"  Deep thinker, this little man of mine.
It's funny how God uses thoughts from my children to speak to things I have been pondering.  In this case, I'd been thinking that, when God created me, He had a vision of exactly who I was, am, and would be.  Even though I am marred by sin and in a fallen condition, I can rest in knowing He has a plan to make me into who created me to be.

There are a lot of things that I struggle to like about me that are not at all related to sin.  Many of them are part of God’s design for me.  Physically, I am short and have a small frame and am weak.  I don't like that.  I want to be tall and strong.  While I can take care of my body and work out to get stronger (and I do), I can't change the height or petite frame or even make much of an impact on the strength factor.  I have never even been able to do one real push up, not even ONE, and I do (girl) push-ups almost every day!  This is how God made my body; it was His plan for me.

Nearly every woman in American can relate to my struggles.  Most of us don't fit the body image presented to us by our culture.  I have wished at times that God had shaped me differently.  You know, a little more here, a little less there, maybe some abs of steel would be nice, too.

Have you ever looked at some of those Renaissance paintings of beautiful women (rounder, heavier, and paler than today's magazine covers) and knew you missed that perfect time period for your body type?  Do you spend time internally criticizing how He designed you?
I want to grow to like me like He made me.  I'm learning to drop the comparisons.  It is a struggle that may last the rest of my life, but I’m fighting the good fight.  I can't be her, and she can't be me.  Guarding my media choices helps, but the real work has to go deeper than that.  I can't go hide in a cave with posters from the Renaissance to feel better about myself.  The real work has to be an inside job.
My main purpose is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.  Physical beauty is not bad; it’s just passing away.  True and lasing beauty is something that radiates from within.  When God works compassion and gentleness in my heart, then I am beautiful. When I share His goodness with others, then I am radiating His light and life and loveliness. When I give a gift of grace, there is no Venus or supermodel that can outshine that kind of beauty.
My focus has to move from what I look like on the outside to allowing God to do His good work in my heart.  The answer to Levi’s question is this: You are becoming who God created you to be.  The Father is transforming you from the inside out.  You will not be a different person, but you will be different.  As a caterpillar turns into a butterfly, you will be a new creation, re-purposed forever for His glory.

Karen loves to write and lead women's support group.  She is learning to walk in God's grace day to day as well as learning to extend that grace to others.  You can follow her blog at

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