A Prayer to Embrace Beauty in the Present
By Emily Rose Massey
“He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end” (Ecclesiastes 3:11-12, NIV).
I lived in the Midwest of the United States until two years ago. We would experience all four seasons, but winter seemed to drag on the longest. I remember waiting for Spring to come with great expectations, but by January would grow extremely impatient, ready to pack our family and move somewhere warmer! Honestly, winter was one of the driving forces behind our family’s permanent relocation to the Sunshine State! Many of my friends and family are currently longing for the warmer temperatures of Spring to make their appearance. Soon, the fresh leaves will fully cover what were barren branches and flowers will be in full bloom. None of us must worry if the seasons are going to change, because God is a master artist and has it all under control.
The seasons are set to a specific time God ordains, as are the events in our lives and the journey He unfolds along the way. He alone knows how to take a rebellious heart of stone and soften it to praise His Holy name. Life transformation is not an overnight event. Like the seasons, the change of life for the glory of Christ is a process. In God’s perfecting timing, we will begin to see new growth.
The Biblical Book of Ecclesiastes was written by one of the wisest men to live, King Solomon. In this book, Solomon discusses the ebb and flow of life: time, foolishness, suffering, and wisdom are poetically unwrapped throughout this Old Testament book. Chapter 3 of Ecclesiastes focuses on the concept of time in the heart of man, and that God is ultimately sovereign over it: “He has made everything beautiful in its time” (11a). The verse goes on to say God “has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end” (Ecclesiastes 11b, NIV).
Often, we become extremely discouraged by disappointment or failure, but God is continually working in our hearts and our lives. The process of conforming us to the image of His dear Son rests solely in His hands as we lean not on our understanding, but trust completely in Him and His ways (Proverbs 3:5-6). With the help of the Holy Spirit, we learn to walk in obedience. He leads us into all truth as we study the Word and renew our minds to replace old ways of thinking with God’s perfect will.
Perhaps this process of renewing our minds and seeing transformation in behavior and attitude is slowed because our eyes become too fixated on the temporal cares of this life. Our hearts were made to look to the hope of eternity, but if we are not careful, we can be consumed with worry when things are not changing as quickly as we would like them to or when our circumstances in our life are challenging or uncomfortable. It can be tempting to grasp for control to avoid discomfort before asking the Lord for His help. We often fail to acknowledge He may be using difficulties to work well in our lives and turn it all into something beautiful. Do you feel like you are stuck in a “winter” season, longing to see blooms of new life?
I am struggling with disappointment and discontentment about where I am in life right now. Help me to guard my heart against discouragement, ungratefulness, and complaining. Help me to look for the blessings you have already given me in my current circumstances. Teach me how to find ways to praise You when my expectations are not met and learn how to trust Your perfect timing even if I don’t fully understand it. I know I need to trust in Your sovereignty and lean upon Your ways over my own. Your grace is sufficient for me, and I thank You for always guiding me into truth and convicting my heart when I fall into the sins of grumbling and complaining, thinking that I know better than You. My lips long to praise Your great name. Thank You for Your love for me and for changing my heart to reflect Yours. I pray You would use the season You have me in to transform me and strengthen my faith in You. Give me eyes to see the beauty even in my winter season. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Photo Credit: ©Getty Images/Andrea Kraus-Wirth
Emily Massey began writing short stories and poetry as a little girl, entered the blogging world in her early 20s, and published her first book in 2015. She enjoys being a stay-at-home momma while still being able to pursue her passion as a writer. Believing she has been forgiven much, she loves much, and desires to point others to Christ and His redemptive and transforming power, especially by sharing truth found in God’s written Word. If you would like to connect with Emily, you can visit www.emilyrosemassey.com
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Originally published Thursday, 04 May 2023.