It's true, I'll admit it. I've always had a bit of a chip on my shoulder about health and beauty. I mean, when you grow up as the uncoordinated child who gets picked last for the basketball team, health seems like it's really not a big deal. I've shared with you my struggles with rosacea, so let's just say that beauty was not high on my list of priorities in life either.
In fact, I reasoned, God clearly warns us about vanity in the Bible, and if I think about health or beauty at all, then I must be vain.
Maybe not. During the last few years, I have come to think about beauty much differently than before. In my heart, I know that true beauty comes from within. God does warn us about vanity and pride. The key though, is to make sure our hearts are set on God and not on ourselves. In fact, recognizing the importance of health and beauty all around us can be an act of worship to the Creator.
Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. Colossians 3:2
When we recognize and appreciate beauty all around us, with our hearts focused on God, we worship Him for who He is -- the Greatest Artist all other artists only hope to mimic.
My husband and I are in the middle of building a house. When it came time to pick out colors, I stood among the hundreds of paint color chips in the paint store and just prayed. The first prayer was one of total confusion and an overwhelmed heart. Did you know they have almost forty shades of white and seven different shades of black?! It's more than my eyes can handle!
The next prayer, though, was one of total awe and worship.
"Almighty Creator, you fashioned each of these beautiful colors. Your hand formed the depths of the hauntingly beautiful oceans. Your brushstrokes alone create each sunrise and sunset. You, Lord, formed two beautiful babies within my womb."
For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.Colossians 1:16
I stood in silence, eyes closed, and breathed deeply. His hand is all around us. He created us to notice beauty, not so that we could be noticed, but so that our hearts would "see" Him. My eyes welled as I considered all that God has fashioned for us to see, hear, taste, and feel. He made all things to point to Him and to declare His glory.
He makes all things beautiful...
The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Psalm 19:1
I remember being in Prague last year and sitting in a beautiful, centuries old building, listening to a grand orchestra. I closed my eyes, and thought about God then. As the music swelled and surrounded me, I could only think of Him, the Creator of art and music. God connected this human heart in my chest to swell and beat in a rhythm that connects to notes, tastes, beauty, and art beyond what human words and hands can describe.
I have realized that all of these years, I really have been wrong about health and beauty. You see, my problem with health and beauty was that I only saw my weaknesses there. To me, the words "health" and "beauty" have always been focused inwardly on myself and my own shortcomings, but God never meant for them to focus attention on me.
All things healthy and beautiful were meant to point to God alone.
God creates beauty all around us so that we will stop and think of Him. He created our bodies as a living sacrifice to Him. When I look at my body as the temple of God, I realize how important it is that I keep His temple holy and healthy. Not to point to myself, but to point to Him.
When we think of beauty and heath, I challenge us all to remember the Creator of beauty and heath. When we celebrate art, we celebrate the greatest Artist who imagined the spectrum of colors into existence -- even many colors I'm sure we have never yet seen! When we celebrate health, we celebrate the One who created a man from the simple dust of the ground. He fashioned us as His special creation, all in order for us to worship Him.
How do you see health today? As your heart beats, can you thank Him for the intricate mapping of vessels He formed within you to carry blood to all areas of your body? Can you see His amazing work in you?
How do you see beauty today? Could you worship Him today through all you see that is beautiful? What do you see around you that is beautiful? Could you worship Him through recognizing His hand at work there?
God specializes in creating beauty from ashes, and He is making something beautiful from you today. Can you see the Artist at work?
Melanie Moore writes at her blog, Only a Breath, and shares her real-life faith journey. Her blog's mission is a simple one -- to make you smile and to point your heart to the Giver of true joy. Melanie works as a full-time software developer and cherishes every moment she can spend with her husband and two hilarious sons. Follow Melanie on Twitter at @MelanieAnneTN.