Originally published Tuesday, 22 February 2022.
I stared at the glowing screen, eyes glazed over, darting from one item to the next. I compared products and added to the ever-growing “wishlist.” Babies don’t need much, but we are foster parents and instead of nine months of preparation, we have weeks to prepare. Car seats. Consumer reports. Carriers. Will it arrive in time? Thank God for free two-day shipping.
Completely overwhelmed I ended the night gazing at the problem through tears. Wishing the pain that causes a child to need a backup plan on no one. My empathy ignited for separated families and those stuck in cycles they cannot escape. The fear of the unknown future for this tiny one, for my heart.
I seek the physical necessities, but also mourn that life has not been stable and “put together”. I plan out what furniture we need to collect and find Pinterest projects to beautify spaces. I long for this child to be celebrated, welcomed, and loved if even for a short time.
But the beautiful printables didn’t calm my heart. The wish list increased my anxiety. Grasping for control only proved how out of control I actually am.
Through tears, I expressed my crazy to my husband. He pointed me back again to the only source of peace: dwelling deeply in Christ. My gaze shifted. My heart calmed.
Dwelling, Gazing, Seeking. This is what I must be about.
One thing I ask from the Lord, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. Psalm 27:4 NIV
I sometimes forget that I don’t need to fix all the problems, mitigate all the relationships, and control the situation. I can dwell with my God in worship. Not just someday in heaven, but moment by moment; being near to the one who made me. Abiding with the one who loves me most.
I can gaze upon his beauty as I marvel at his character. Mercy. Forgiveness. Overwhelming love. Love that not only believes in redemption and second chances for all but also cares for the most vulnerable with justice and compassion. Rather than focusing on what is in front of me, I must turn my eyes to the eternal.
Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Colossians 3:2-3
As a turn my eyes from today to the one who is truly life, I can stop striving, because God’s wisdom, his Spirit, and his love are available to me. He who named the stars of the sky, who created galaxies, and has been working out redemption throughout all of human history also knows me intimately. He is at work in the entire world and yet
You have kept count of my tossings, put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book? Psalms 57:8
My heart is put at rest knowing that God is good. My anxieties ease as I stare into his power and greatness. I can leave him in control, for he loves me as well as those I fret over when midnight nears.
Seeking him out is the most beautiful pursuit. I don’t need to know the end of the story to know that God will be at work. He does not just take people who are doing well in life and shine them up a bit, but he transforms the worst situations possible into something beautiful.
It is not simply the “someday” resolution, wrapped up in a bow, that creates beauty in the midst of the messiness of life. Choosing to dwell with, gaze at, and seek the giver of life allows true beauty to bloom in chaos.
Readers, Whatever your cares the weight of them can be revealed by keeping your eyes on the God who can carry it for you. May you seek and find rest as you search for His beauty today.
Holly writes to tell the stories of what God has done, especially through her experiences of infertility, foster care, and adoption. These days you’ll find her catching up on housework while listening to a podcast, trying not to have dinner be a Pinterest fail, and sipping coffee while watching her children play.