Friday, August 5, 2011

Journey of Faith Friday: Front Row Seat to One of God's Great Shows

Amber's Articles

Front Row Seat to One of God's Greatest Shows

Sometimes I wish I did not err on the side of skepticism, doubt, glass half empty. However, we all have those aspects of our personality that we continually struggle to embrace, to change, to explore.  I have sat and listened to many friends say, "I don't know how anyone could ever doubt God.  I have no doubt whatsoever that God is good, that He is real, and that His will is perfect for me."  Where I have never doubted that God created me (and all things) or that He is real, I would be lying if I said, "I never questioned His goodness or His perfect will."  I would also be lying if I said, "I will never doubt those things (and many others) in the future." You may be thinking this post is headed down the path of explaining another season of doubt, or begging people to avoid saying they will never doubt, or even how much doubt has lead me to a closer walk/a deeper faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, but that is not where I am going.  

Today, I want to share that throughout my faith journey I have been pursued by God, encouraged by God, and drawn to God through my front row experiences of His Creation.  During seasons of (my) doubting His goodness, I have been drawn back to Him through the moments when He pulls up a seat, asks me to sit, and begins to play out one of His many great shows.  While there are many, the sunset is one that consistently reminds me that God is not only real, but ever present.  

He is beckoning us to look up!  Look down!  Look out!  Look around!  Not at the way, we in our sinful nature mess things up, but the way He in His goodness make things beautiful.  The way He takes the ugly mess we have made and pours out grace and mercy to make all things new.   The way He turns beauty to ashes.  

It is when I choose to pay attention that I am reminded God is everywhere and there is no denying Him. I may struggle, at times, with understanding His goodness when it comes in the form of a tragedy, but nevertheless, He uses His canvas of creation to speak softly the words, "I am in control.  I make all things new.  I make beauty from ashes." (Isa. 40: 12-14, Rev. 21:5, Isa.61:3)

God's grandest show is His creation of man, yet that is the show I struggle with the most.  It is His own image that blesses and disgusts me beyond belief.  Yet, I am a part of it.  I am a partner in the blessing and the disgust.  Yet, God in making beauty from ashes does just that in the life of man.  He takes His grandest show and as an encore redeems this life from one of ruin, of pain, of selfishness, and redeems it to one of beauty that is only found in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

And while being a spectator of God through creation, I learn that doubt, pain, and loss are just as much a part of His goodness as beauty, love, and joy. 

You can read other Journey of Faith Friday posts HERE.
**I am linking up with Shoot and Edit.  Click over to visit more edits.  You can see my SOOC shots HERE.  I did very little to these photos.  I added a High Pass Filter (Soft Light) to each one and adjusted the levels/brightness/contrast to taste.  I also straightened the horizon and added text.

I am also linking up with Scripture and a Snapshot.


Anonymous said...

These are gorgeous and I love that verse. Awesome job Amber.

Ashley Sisk said...

Really beautiful post Amber...and I love your sunsets. Gorgeous.

Courtney said...

Absolutely beautiful post, Amber! Loved every part of it!

Katie Perdue said...

amaazing pictures- love the post, something I definitely needed to be reminded of this morning! blessings!

Carolina said...

I agree with you in that there have been times where I have questioned God's plan, as I have been unable to understand it after tragedy. I truly believe as you wrote that 'pain and loss' could be part of His plan as much as 'beauty, love and joy'. Thanks for sharing your heart to encourage others!

Craig said...

Amber, I know that you know – that I think your talent is awesome. And your spiritual insight too. The image of God in us – once perfect – now not. The beauty of creation – as beautiful as it is – like in your pictures – it's nothing of what it was. We are broken, the world is broken, the universe is broken, and it will be fixed – and it will be indescribably good. I'm one who came kicking and screaming into the faith – thinking, and thinking, and thinking about everything – I'm not like you – my faith arose from doubt. Anyway – I hearted this. Thank you Amber – God bless you and all of yours this day.

Kindra said...

Beautiful post. I would like to say that I'd love to become someone who will never doubt God's perfect plan or His goodness. But I'm not sure if I really would. My husband's walk of steadfast faith in Jesus and yet deep longing for understanding has challenged what I used to think. Thanks for sharing these encouraging words.

Heather Mattern said...

These are so beautiful, and your writing, so inspiring! Thank you for sharing these. I'm thrilled to have found your blog.

Our Peculiar Lives said...

Beautiful photos, especially the one with Romans 1:20 on it! That is one of my favorite verses. What a gorgeous sky!
Visiting from Scripture and a snapshot. Have a great Sunday!

Sara said...

Wow. These photos are beautiful and an even greater message!