It is easy to look at yesterday and remember the good times. Everyone seems to talk about yesterday as if there was no tomorrow. We have the golden age of television, the “best” of “name your decade” music, and “if only it was like” conversations. While I wasn’t around for the first go round on many of these moments I did see much of it on the first round of repeats. Trust me; it wasn’t that perfect, awesome, or wonderful!
Far too often we look at life in the same way as Joel. “Wildfire burns everything before this army and fire licks up everything in its wake. Before it arrives, the country is like the Garden of Eden. When it leaves, it is Death Valley. Nothing escapes unscathed.” (Joel 2.3) It is almost too easy to talk about the challenges, hurdle, and obstacles; where does one look to for hope? Is everything consigned to a bin of increasing ugliness? Even reality television programs play on our fears and weaknesses, exposing the very parts of our lives that we most often want and need to hide.
I am not about to dissuade anyone that what they see is not what is actually going on. On the contrary, I would actually concede that things are even worse than we imagine! I would add, once things have settled that we have only experienced a small part of the equation of life. There is all around us incredible beauty and hidden amounts of hope.
Just yesterday we gathered a random assortment of apples. The apples didn’t look like much. They had the blemishes of life etched on their externals. We wondered if our attempts at applesauce would transcend the ugliness outside. I wish I could share the results with you; it is the best I have ever imagined applesauce could be!
God’s reality is like that. God takes the ugliness of what is around us and brings out the beauty, love, and compassion within. You are the hope for others. Let the light God gives you shine and shine bright.