The landscape is covered in white. The sky is thick with heavy, gray clouds.

Suddenly, the sun peeks through for a moment. Long, blue shadows stretch gracefully from glistening, diamond clad trees. And it changes everything.

Once alive with happy butterflies and busy bees, the barren meadow yields to the weight of heavy frost.

Suddenly, one purple violet peeks out from beneath the dried grass. And it changes everything.

Life is like that. We can be surrounded by desolation. There is so much pain we can only succumb to its presence.

But God tells us not to focus on it even though it is visibly threatening. Admit it. Accept it.

But don’t focus on it.

Beyond the obvious, there is something hidden worth looking for. In fact, most of the time, you don’t even have to look. You just find it. When you least expected it.

Have you ever found a flower growing through a crack in the sidewalk? Why does it always make us stop and look?

Because it matters.

We can become so used to seeing a particular way which causes us to think a particular way, we don’t consider things from a different angle.

sidewalk flower

                                  anastasiaphotography via /CC BY-NC-ND



Let it settle deeply in your soul.




And all the rest will take its proper place.



It’s understandably easy to focus on all that goes wrong in our lives. Especially when one thing after another goes wrong. Especially when you know you’ve worked really hard at something, only to have it taken away.

We all have moments like this in life. It’s important, especially these days with social networking (e.g Facebook, Twitter) where everyone has a platform and an audience, to not compare yourself with others. Because that snapshot of their day is not indicative of them being better off than you.

Let me say it again: that snapshot of their day is not indicative of them being better off than you.

Where is your focus? You get to choose, you know.

Focus begins with those moments throughout the day that give us a smile or a memory. You know, the little things.

When I see a new bird show up at the feeder, this makes me happy. I can have so much on my mind, and yet, this little bird makes time stop and all is well.

When the colors begin to pop up through the last traces of melted snow, this makes me happy.

All of us are surrounded by creation and we are wired to respond. Summer nights watching the dotted flashes of orange glow in the meadow, the pitter-patter of rain lulling us off to sleep, and do we ever get tired of looking at sunsets?

Focusing on the beauty is not denying the existence of ugliness. It’s choosing to believe the beauty is there for a reason. Otherwise God would not have put it there.

It gives us hope. It helps us trust.

And it’s the true snapshot of eternal life with God.