Beautiful Things

When I think about Jesus, an image like this comes to mind:


Whenever I feel in need of His grace (and who am I kidding, that's pretty much every single moment of my life), I imagine myself sitting at the very top of the mountain shown in this picture. I imagine myself seeing that beautiful sunset face-to-face, gazing out at the beautiful land before me. And all I can think about is Jesus.

What we must learn to do, my beautiful readers, is to see Jesus is everything. As I'm typing these words, I'm looking out the window at Welsh Family Hall (my dorm at Notre Dame). I see the trees swaying in the wind, and I see the leaves falling (yes, to my family back in Texas, the leaves actually change colors here). Most of all, I see the sun shining through the clouds. The sun shining through the clouds...that's Jesus shining through my darkness and filling me with His light. The leaves falling...that's God forgiving my sins and letting my shame fall to the ground. The trees swaying in the wind...that's the Lord dancing with me in spite of my imperfections and gracing me with His peace.

It always amazes me when people say that there is no proof of God's existence. I'll be honest, I'm tempted to burst out laughing when I hear these words. And trust me, countless people have approached me and explained to me just how ridiculous and "stupid" I am for believing in Jesus. I've heard every kind of insult in the book. As I sit there and listen to them explain how there is no evidence for the existence of God, all I can do is think, You have no idea what you're missing.

I see Jesus every day of my life. Call me crazy, but when I look for Him, I find Him. And you can too. When you seek Him in nature or in the people around you, you WILL find Him. Jeremiah 29:13 says, "You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart." But here's the thing: it's not always easy. Not everyday is a beautiful fall day...the sun doesn't shine everyday, the leaves don't fall everyday, the trees don't sway everyday. So where do we go from there? How do we see God then?

If you can't find God in one place, seek and find Him in another. Now as I'm looking outside my window of Welsh Family Hall, the sun has stopped shining and the clouds are beginning to grow darker. The day is beginning to look radically different, and my smile is starting to fade. I now turn to another way of seeking and finding Jesus: the Bible. If you don't own a Bible, buy one. If you don't have the money to buy one, ask a family member or a friend to help you out. Trust me, it'll be the best purchase you'll make in your life.

If you have a Bible, I CHALLENGE you this week to start every day by reading your Bible. Pick a book and work through it. I would strongly suggest starting with the Book of James in the New Testament. This is the first book of the Bible I ever read. James 1:2-4 says, "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you face trials of many kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance, and let perseverance be perfect, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing." (Yes, I just typed that from memory, someone please give me a high five or something.) My challenge to each of you this week is to start your day by reading a chapter of James. I know from experience that the day looks radically different when you start it with Jesus.

Romans 1:20 says, "For since the creation of the world, God's invisible qualities - His eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse." God has revealed His invisible qualities to us through what He has created. So, we are without excuse. We have no excuse NOT to believe in Him. He is all around us - active and working and living. He is literally everywhere and in everything.

If you're not opening your eyes to see His glory, you have no idea what you're missing. I wish you could see what I'm seeing right now. Just as I finished typing that last sentence, the sun burst out from behind the clouds and filled my whole world with light. God is continually reminding me that in spite of my darkness, He is my light, my hope, my joy, my everything.

Songs of the week:
"Canyons" by Chris August http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IvT4DoaeEwM
"Beautiful Things" by Gungor http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nJ4yNYY1hHM
"Light Up the Sky" by the Afters http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LQH6UDi15s

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