She saw him there first, sunning himself on those purple flowers, showing off his yellow and black wings.
We hadn’t taken even two steps out of my front door when she shouted and rushed right over.
Two steps out the door? I was still shifting the weight of the baby carrier against my knee with the diaper bag slung over my shoulder and a bag of library books weighing down my other hand with my keys between my teeth.
And she’s spotting butterflies.
We stopped. We emptied our hands so we could take pictures and enjoy one spring butterfly in the warmth of the sun.
But if she hadn’t been there, would I have even seen? Would I have paced right by that flower bed from front door to minivan in 0.3 seconds?
And, if after a month of looking for beauty I’m still so apt to miss it, then what exactly am I missing?
I go back to the beginning, back to what I know.
God is both Beautiful and the Creator of Beauty. The Psalmist said:
From Zion, perfect in beauty, God shines forth (Psalm 50:2).
So when I seek out the beauty of what He has made, I worship Him, I enter into His presence, and I can glimpse those hints of eternal perfection—the scent of Eden in the here and now.
David wanted this, too. He wanted to seek out the presence of God and if he could have just one thing, it’d be this:
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).
I want His presence, His beauty, to be my ‘one thing,’ my passionate pursuit, my eyes-on-the-prize, single-minded, totally focused, never-wavering-for-a-moment ‘thing.’
Because my hands are full?
Because my mind is busy?
Because my heart is heavy?
Yes and yes and sometimes (but not always).
What if there’s something more? I have to at least ask the question.
“Your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you” (Isaiah 59:2).
What if something blinds us to His face? What if we’re trying to see and trying to see, but it’s just impossible?
Don’t you love Zaccheus, though? This tax collector tried to see Jesus and tried to see Jesus, but he was too short to see over the crowd.
He could have given up, called it a day, headed on home, took a raincheck on a visit to the Messiah.
But no. He hiked up his robe and scrambled up a tree.
I’m no tree climber. Never really was. But now? A 30-something mom of 4 kids? What a mess of clumsiness I’d be grabbing branches and hoping they’d hold my weight.
Yet, what if Jesus stopped and looked at that tree and called Zaccheus down because it was just that crazy? He knew that this sin-filled tax collector was the one man in the crowd who was willing to make an utter fool of himself and do any wild bit of craziness just to see Jesus.
Face-to-face with so much grace, standing right there in Jesus’ presence, Zacchaeus could do nothing less than repent and change (Luke 19).
In Acts it says,
Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away, in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord (Acts 3:19 NASB).
If I want the refreshing of His presence, then it starts with the repenting and the returning.
So, what am I willing to do to see Him? Skin my knees on tree bark and climb on up there?
And when I’m there at His feet, is there anything I need to lay down and be willing to change?
A bad attitude?
Selfishness and Self-focus?
It’s not legalism or getting all tangled up in reminders about how sinful I am.
It’s about seeing the beauty of His face when we discover the beauty of His grace.
To read more about this 12-month journey of pursuing the presence of Christ, you can follow the links below! Won’t you join me this month as I ‘Enjoy Beauty’?
- Finding Room to Breathe: A 12-month pursuit of the presence of Christ
- January: Be Still and Know
- February: Pray Simply
- March: Unplug
- April: Enjoy Beauty
Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader. Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness. Her book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, is available now! To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.
Copyright © 2014 Heather King