Hearts Set Free
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Living A Beautiful Life
By Elaine Creasman


A while back, I was reflecting on the academy-award winning movie, "Life Is Beautiful.”  Oh, how I long to have that attitude, I thought. Just as the main character in the movie continued to see life as beautiful--even in the midst of devastating circumstances during war time -- so can every Christian.

Lately I’ve been focusing on three qualities of God that make Him beautiful. The wonderful news is that He wants to share these attributes with His children. As I ask God to pour these into my life, I can say -- even in difficult times -- "My life is beautiful."

Beautify your life with patience. My friend, Juanita, had patience--and its byproduct, peace. She didn’t talk much about her ongoing battle with cancer, except to say “God's working everything out in His time.”

“How are you?" I asked during a hospital visit, months before her death.

"I have so much to be thankful for" she said and told me of kindnesses shown to her that day.
My impatience and staying problem-focused has often kept me from having a grateful heart and seeing beautiful ways people and the Lord touch my life.

As I meditate on His promises rather than on problems, my life begins to look beautiful. I can see what God's already done rather than zeroing in on prayers yet unanswered. I can celebrate that “He has made everything beautiful in its time” (Ecclesiastes 3:11 NIV).  I especially see this in regard to painful struggles in our 30-year marriage.

Recently I heard someone say, "There can be no resurrection without death."  I marvel at how God has brought beauty from ashes repeatedly in my life--over time (See Isaiah 61:3). Impatience can keep me blind to that fact.

Beautify your life with holiness. Instead of embracing God's command to "Be holy because I am holy"  (1 Peter 1:16) I've too often focused on being happy.

I've asked, "Am I happy here?” about my marriage, motherhood, ministries, and my job. God revealed that the happiness question is not important--even though God promises happiness as a result of obedience: "the one who trusts in the LORD will be happy" (Proverbs 16:20).

The important questions to ask are: "Are my choices pleasing to the Lord?" "Is what I'm doing serving His purposes?" and "Am I willing to continue on the path of holiness, so I can bring glory to Him?"

One way to stay open to God's purpose of making me holy is to spend time in worship. "Worship the LORD in the splendor of His holiness" (Psalm 29:2) Worship isn’t limited to church services. I seek to worship God with my life. This means always remembering how great and wonderful He is and to respond through obedience. One definition of holy that God gave to me is this: “Becoming holy is becoming wholly His.”

Beautify your life with humility. Pride in me says, "I don't deserve to suffer like this," or "I demand a perfect, pain-free life." Yet as I humbly embrace suffering, I'm drawn closer to God. The closer I get, the more His beauty flows into my life. My new goal to replace "Avoid suffering" is “Have Christ’s humble attitude,” which I read about in Philippians 2:5-8.

Nancy Guthrie, who suffered through the deaths of two of her children as infants from a hereditary disease, writes in her book, Holding on to Hope, “Have you ever noticed that people who suffer are marked with a beauty, a deepening, a transformation?" Beauty does come forth during times of suffering, but only as I allow myself to be humbled. Pride blocks God's beauty from flowing into my life. (See James 4:6)

"I run in the path of your commands,
for you have set my heart free."
Psalm 119:32 NIV









































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