God looks on us with all our weaknesses and imperfections, and says, “You are beautiful.” Why is this? It is because when God sees you, He is not limited by our current view of time. When He looks at you, He sees all of you. He sees deeper and farther than any human eyes could ever see. He knows the whole person.
He sees the past, the moment he created you in purity and innocence, untainted by the hardships of the world. He looks with on with joy and pride on the creation of his hand and says, “It is good.”
He sees the present as a current stage in the process of growth and change, the making and shaping of a man or woman. He looks on with the pride of a father watching as His child learns to walk, reaching down many times to pick you up again, rejoicing at each new step of progress.
He sees the future, all that you will someday become, the destiny you were created to fulfill. And He sees further still to see you in white robes, washed clean from all that this world has dragged you through. He sees the one He will receive into his arms the day you arrive in Heaven to see Him face to face.
Yes, dear friend, God sees all of you, the whole person, and that is truly a beautiful thing.
Why are the trees such a brilliant green?
And why is the rose so bright red?
Why is the tapestry of all of life,
Woven with such colored thread?
The unblemished white of the lily and clouds,
The sky and the sea so bright blue.
The colors of spring paint so cheerful a song.
The rainbow exhibits its hue.
Even the dark of the darkest night,
Holds color in its unique way,
Enriching the contrast of darkness and light,
Enhancing this perfect display.
God could have created the world a dark drab,
Simple and colorless, plain.
Color will not help the flowers to grow,
Or sweeten the songbird’s refrain.
But God has created this world for us all,
And kissed it with color and flare,
So that we could see the kind face of His love,
Reflected in all we see there.
So stop for a moment to take in the view,
To bask in the sun’s golden glow.
Let Him shine His rays deep through to your heart,
That all of His love you may know.
By Marie Morrow
Even the black of the darkest night
Loses strength at the coming of dawn.
Eventually spring must be born anew,
Though the winter seams so hard and long.
In spite of the fury of the raging storm,
When its deafening winds rage against you,
Peace will come in the stillness again,
When sunlight breaks through to refresh you.
There’s no sorrow too deep for God’s love to reach.
There’s no pain that His hand cannot heal.
Even the seeming impassable road,
Has a way through which He can reveal.
So hold on to hope, though the hope is so dim,
That its glow cannot even be seen.
The sun is not gone, it will soon rise again.
Things are never as bad as they seem.
By Marie Morrow
The beautiful sun shines hot and bright 365 days out of the year. Yet how often do we take the time to notice? When’s the last time you thought, “Wow, look! The sun is shining today. God must love me.” Yet despite our apparent lack of appreciation, the sun continues to shine each day, providing food, heat, gravity, and all that is needed to support life. Likewise the light of God’s love shines on us every day, surrounding our lives with warmth and beauty.
On the contrast however, one bright moon on a dark night seems to attract a lot more attention. My kids will say, “Wow! Look at the moon.” It peeks out from behind a cloud and we take notice. Is it not true in much of life? The daily joys and beauties that surround us barely catch our notice. But the light that shines through the darkness captivates our hearts.
God’s love is always shining, in the day and in the night, 365 days a year. Don’t forget to look. Step out into the sunshine and let God’s light smile on you.
My little seven year old was sick and miserable. She had a cold: stuffy nose, cough and sore throat. She cried as I tried to get her to bed early. As an active kid, she hates bedtime. “Today is the worst day EVER!” She murmured.
“Oh really?” I replied. “Actually, today was a very special day. Do you want to know what wonderful things happened today?”
I caught a little flicker of interest and continued. “It all started when the last stars were fading away and the first beams of sunlight peeked its way into the sky. Then the golden sun shined its smile on the world. The trees waved their branches in the wind and the mommy birds flew off to get breakfast for their babies.” Now she showed a little smile as we talked about all the different animals.
“All over the world today people had a wonderful day. Do you know what they are doing on the south side of the world? People are swimming on the beach enjoying a hot summer day. Somewhere in the world a little boy just got a brand new shiny bicycle for his birthday. Some little girl brought home a new puppy. Today a woman who really wanted to have a baby, just found out she is pregnant. A little girl your age is flying on an airplane for the first time.”
The list kept getting longer… the mother who delivered a 6.8 pound baby boy named David, the kids playing in a moon walk at a birthday party, the farmer harvesting a good crop, the handsome man who knelt down to propose to his girlfriend under the moonlight, the little African kid fishing barefoot with his toes wiggling in the sand. By now Kristy was bubbling with excitement and the other kids had come in to join the fun as well, each adding their own touch of imagination.
While my intent had been to cheer up my grumpy girl, this little exercise had an unexpected effect on me. My own troubles seemed to melt away as I suddenly felt myself a part of this great and wonderful world, connected to all these people, sharing in the joy and wonder of “today”. And just imagine all the hundreds of millions of people who will be having a great day tomorrow.
So the next time you are having a bummer day, try taking a moment to share in the joy of the world around you. Today is really a wonderful day.
This is the day which the Lord hath made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Taiwan - 2007
I have just had the opportunity to travel across this beautiful island with my husband and our four children. We drove over the high, winding mountains of central Taiwan, at a breathtaking height of 3,400 meters. Even with a four wheel drive diesel van it was quite a climb. Our engine overheated on the way up, and our breaks overheated on the way down. Daniel even had trouble with altitude sickness. Yet the view was magnificent.
In the mountains we visited an aborigine tribal village resort, inset in a small valley surrounded by towering peaks. I was equally as impressed with kind and friendly manner of the local tribe as I was with the exquisite scenery. The after dinner tribal show was simple and joyful. The children, teenagers and adults performed together like one big happy family, as they happily testified of their Christian faith and showed us the joy of their culture.
The drive through the Toroko Gorge was one of the most spectacular views I had seen. We stopped many times to take in the beauty and wonder. I couldn’t help but think how greatly God must love this land. It is certainly a master piece of His creation. The greatness and majesty of God is so vividly displayed in His creation. He has surely put the touch of His hand on this place.
Next we visited the East Coast. It had a beauty all its own. Winding roads curved along miles of coast where the mountains and the oceans meet in a delicate mixture of color and elegance. Sandy beaches and sparkling clear water, interrupted by rocky cliffs and coral reefs. The green of the landscape is enhanced by the many shades of light and shadow, as it basks in the summer sun.
There our children went snorkeling for the first time. It was undoubtedly the greatest experience they had ever had. They said, “I had no idea it could be so cool. It’s better than National Geographic.” We saw puffer fish, lion fish, clown fish, eels, angel fish, and schools of fish to numerous to count. Even little Kristy, only six years old, learned to snorkel and shared this experience with us.
From there we continued south to Kenting, where we joined up with two of my brothers and their families, for three days of fun in the sun—swimming and snorkeling along the southern beaches and rocky coastline. There I enjoyed a wonderful birthday with my family on the fun and lively evening shopping street. It was a truly happy time of my life.
As we drive on the long ride home from Kenting to Taichung, I am too busy writing to see much more. I am thankful for the many pictures we’ve taken, but I want to write this story now, to capture every moment and save each memory.
Yet I find that the images most impressed upon my mind are not those of mountains and seas. My mind is filled with faces, those faces I have seen and the people I have met along the way. And my heart aches as though it is bound in a cage. I am looking out through the bars, over this great nation and wanting so much to be a part of it, yet still I am held back by the language barrier. I can speak Chinese on a basic level, but I want so much more.
Each person I meet has his or her own story, and I long to know that story. “What is it that makes you smile? And what has made you cry? What was life like when you were young? What are your dreams for the future? What do your children like to play? And what do they like to sing?
” I long to peer into each home and family, to be a part of their world for a day.
I have such high admiration for these people and road that they have walked. Each one is a precious soul that God loves so much. I wish I could get to know the lady selling flowers on the corner, the farmer planting rice in his field, the friendly student enjoying his summer, and the mother watching her kids in the park. Each person is unique and special.
I don’t know why I feel this way. These people are strangers to me. Yet as I travel through each city and town I am overcome with an emotion I cannot control. It can only be described as Love! How can I love them so much? Why does it break my heart to be held back by my language limitations? Is this God’s love for them that I am feeling? Is His heart also aching to know them, to reach out to them?
His love is so great and immeasurable. It stretches over the land and sea. Yet it reaches into the depth of our hearts to shine His light into every corner of our being. I have often felt this love in my life. It is my guiding light and my purpose. Yes, I do know this feeling well; I recognize it now. This must be what I feel when I see these people around me. It is God’s love for them that overwhelms me! Yes, I know this for sure, God loves Taiwan.
(After three years of Chinese language studies and living among the local people, my joy only grows. The freedom I find in being able to speak the language and communicate with the people has only served in increase my admiration and love for this amazing place. What a wonderful world God has made. It crosses all boundaries, oceans, lands, cultures and peoples. What a joy to serve as an ambassador of God’s Love to such an amazing world. – September, 2010)
Posted by Marie Morrow
The clouds of discouragement and condemnation were dark and heavy around me. I managed to keep a smile on my face as I talked with people but inwardly I was so ready to cry.
I was involved in a fundraiser, talking to people about the great missionary work we’d been doing. Yet within my mind, all my personal weaknesses, lacks, and failings were hitting me in the face. I was so sure the Lord must be looking down, ashamed at me for the failure that I felt I was.
Then a man walked up to me and started telling me about his strange new concept on prayer. He said, “Everyone’s always talking to God, asking for this or that and full of all they want to say. But we never take the time to ask God ‘How was your day?
He went on and on about how this simple question was such a revelation to him and he urged me to try it. I said I would, but was really thinking ‘strange guy’. Later the more I thought about it the more sure I was that I knew the answer I’d get to that question anyways. He would probably have some big message about how sad He was that I’d failed and disappointed Him.
By the time I got home I couldn’t take it any longer. I decided to go ahead and ask the silly question, that some crazy guy told me to ask, and bravely take whatever judgment I deserved.
The sun was just starting to set, The sky was beautiful, highlighted by the trees reflecting the light as the cool breeze floated through the air. I asked the question: “Jesus, how was Your day?” The answer came to me crystal clear and made me want to cry and laugh at the same time.
He answered: “It was beautiful. Too bad you missed it. It was a day to praise Me and revel in My sunshine. I rejoiced today. I laughed today. I loved. It was a wonderful day and I wanted to share it with you but you wouldn’t look. Stop thinking with your mind and feel with your heart. Be still, let My presence fill you with joy. Look at my creation. Praise Me. Be a part of it. Don’t let it slip through your fingers.
“The goal is to be a part of Me, close to Me and reveling in My spirit. My spirit is love, joy, peace. How can you give this to others if you don’t have it yourself. Smell the sweetness of My praises. Be a part. It’s not you attaining
to Me. It’s being a part
of Me, getting involved in the great song of life.”
Wow! How often do we go around with our faces to the ground, splashing in the mud of discouragement? If we look inward at ourselves, it’s bound to get us down. Jesus didn’t tell us to look in, He said to look up.
We have a God that is so great and so wonderful that all creation praises Him. So let’s quit singing our own woeful dirges. Get up and get involved, however small your part, in the great song of life.
Posted by Marie Morrow