Inner beauty


Last month Debbie and I were in western Pennsylvania visiting our grandson, Wyatt (Oh yeah, and his parents). Since Wyatt at age 1 is already a prodigy, we took him to the Carnegie Museum of Natural History.

One of their exhibits is a stunning collection of minerals and gems. In darkened rooms, beautiful gems and crystals are displayed in individual brightly lit acrylic cases. The shapes and colors of these crystals can be otherworldly.

Yet, seemingly incongruent to the beauty of these gems, was that on the outside they just looked like plain rocks. It was only when the rocks were broken open that their striking beauty became evident.

As I walked through the collection, I wondered, if those who discovered the gems knew what was inside these plain looking rocks before breaking them open.

It was only later that I considered how these gems illustrate a truth about every believer.

At first glance, most of our lives appear mundane and even misshapen. Yet within our lives, God is forming a beauty that is actually dazzling. If you think I am exaggerating, consider how the Bible describes our future in 1 John 3:2.

“Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when (Jesus) appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is”

The Apostle John is describing what Paul calls our “glorification”, when our character is brought to the same beautiful perfection as that of Jesus!

There are significant implications of our transformation:

 1.  God should be regularly praised for this work which is taking place in this very moment.

2.  Although we are plain and perhaps misshapen, we also have God given beauty in us. If God sees beauty in us, faith and obedience obligates us to agree.

3.  Every true believer has the beauty of God’s gracious work in them. Although we still see (and at times feel) their rough exterior, we are also responsible to acknowledge the work of God within.

4.  We may see people around as lives which are ordinary and even ugly. Yet, every life will shine in beauty when it is broken open by the gospel.