In my recent travels, I was like a child on Christmas morning, so giddy with excitement. I couldn’t help it.  Everywhere I turned, there were fall trees, so beautiful with their Crayola colored leaves.  I couldn’t take it in fast enough.

 

 

But as I got up close to some of those gorgeous trees to snap “just one more” photo, I came to realize that despite their brilliant color from afar, most of the leaves were marred and flawed.  They weren’t perfect.  They had endured the nicks and gashes from the elements of daily life, just as we do.

 

 

 

Sometimes those nicks and gashes are our wounded parts, the aspects of our personalities that we’d rather others not see.  Sometimes we intentionally try to cover up our flaws. We’d prefer to be seen as beautiful and whole.

Yet when God looks at us, He doesn’t see our imperfection, our nicks, and our gashes. He sees our heart. He sees His son, and His son’s sacrifice on the cross.  He sees us in His image.  He sees beauty despite the flaws.

“To all who mourn in Israel,[a]
he will give a crown of beauty for ashes,
a joyous blessing instead of mourning,
festive praise instead of despair.
In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks
that the Lord has planted for his own glory.”

Isaiah 61:3 (New Living Translation)

 

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