Waves crest and form. Gulls dip and soar, riding on the wind with outstretched wings. Streamers and skiffs of white scud across the blue washed sky. Trees in various shades of green span the horizon. Idyllic. Serene. Flawless. And to this perfect beauty, God adds man.
Cabin cruisers across the bay navigate the channel towards Midland or Beausoleil Island. Over at the mouth of Sturgeon River a Sea Doo pulls a child water-skiing in calmer waters. I hear its engine surge and ebb. Sails of white and red and yellow, billow and snap in the foreground. From a distance it all is beautiful. But there is the heart and mind of man, tarnished by sin.
I sit on the deck, drinking in the beauty and serenity of my surroundings. I need the cleansing that only He can give. In spite of the beauty around me, I know I need His beauty inside me. I am grateful for this interlude in family chaos and enjoy the opportunity for quiet reflection. A time to come before Him. I call out, like David, to our loving Father God,
"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Thy presence, And do not take Thy Holy Spirit from me, Restore to me the joy of Thy salvation, And sustain me with a willing spirit...Psalm 51:10-12 NASV
I am grateful for the tuth of David's words, "The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, Thou wilt not despise." Psalm 51:17 NASV
Over and over these past few weeks I am humbled by a God who's designed so much beauty, resplendent in detail. A God who created us, male and female, in His own image and for His glory. I marvel at He who loves us so. We who fail, who sin, who constantly fall short. We who live messy lives, who weave tangled webs, who struggle, who seek, who cry out again and again. And He hears our cry. Our Father hears the words we cannot speak. He knows the cry of our heart. He loves, He forgives, and He pours fresh grace into our lives. His grace is enough. It falls like rain. His mercies are new every morning. We praise Him, we lift up our voice and He finds pleasure in what He has made. In our frailty, He empowers us by residing in our hearts. He creates our thirst for Himself. It is inconceivable and indescribable. We long to be holy because He is holy, solely because He has ordained it to be so.
Peter encouraged, "Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence." 2 Peter 2-3 NASV
Peter then exhorts us to apply all diligence, in our faith to various qualities. He names them in an order that we add to, one at a time. He names moral excellence, knowledge, self-control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness, and love.
Then Simon Peter tells how the qualities make us useful for God's kingdom and how they bear fruit in the true knowledge of Jesus Christ.
"For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ." 2 Peter 1:8 NASV
Heavenly Father, we want to be fruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. We want to reflect the image of You who has created us. We want our beauty to blend with the natural surroundings, rather than contrast. Like the gull, we long to dip and soar with outstretched wings. Thank you for calling us to holiness.