Beautiful, Hidden Ways

by Apr 29, 2022Easy and Light

Beautiful, Hidden Ways

For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

1 Corinthians 13:12 (ESV) 

L ate spring two years ago, I belatedly began the seasonal chore of sweeping the outside stairs leading to our second-story apartment. Dirt clumps, crumbling leaves, maple samaras, and all manner of winter debris waited impatiently for me to remove them. Halfway up, right at the landing, a particularly obtrusive stick lodged underneath the step hollered “Sweep me!” each time I ascended the stairs. Finally, I took the old broomcorn bristles to the steps with impassioned vigor. I soon arrived at the landing and the pesky stick that had taunted me for weeks. My broom furiously attacked the crevice, and – Whoosh! Swish! Awk! – a startled mourning dove burst from behind the step in a flurry of wings and wind. Equally startled, I knelt down, peered behind the step, and discovered that the aggravating “stick” was part of a nest holding a single egg.
Dear Father, thank You for Your care, Your grace, and all Your glory at work beyond our eyes and understanding. Help us to walk by faith while we see dimly on this earth.

Unbelievably, I had walked over that stick countless times and only ever seen a nuisance, an inconvenience demanding removal to make the steps beautiful. Yet, right there on the other side of a 2×8 was something far more glorious and beautiful than clean steps: a home, a labor of love, and the miracle of new life.

Over the past two years, through the interruptions, losses, and confusion of the pandemic and through personal pain and startling disruptions to plans, I have often thought of that stick and the poignant reminder that things aren’t always what they seem. What more would we see or how different would situations look if we could view them from the other side – from the eternal?

When Scripture peels back the curtain on the previously hidden, we see God continually working in the unbearable and impossible to protect His people, reveal His glory, and bestow His grace: He led the Israelites the long way out of Egypt to keep them from war. When the disciples saw blindness as punishment, Jesus countered it was for God’s works to be displayed. When everyone else saw death, Jesus said that Jairus’ daughter and Lazarus were only sleeping and then brought them back to life.

As the birds build their nests this spring, may you remember that God works in your life, too, in beautiful, hidden ways.

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