The first human beings opened their eyes in a garden, and such a paradise is where our souls wish to return. God created the world as a masterpiece of beauty and design, and He assigned the careful management and husbandry of it to creatures made in His image—people like us. Despite the marring effects of the fall, we still feel an instinctive pull toward beauty. We long for glimmers of heaven in this life, for things to work as they were meant to work and to look as they were meant to look. As stewards of creation, we help to reflect the glory of God when we celebrate and create beauty.
In a world that looks like a defaced masterpiece, celebrating beauty reminds us of the God who once created it to be perfect. It also reminds us that we are destined for a place where there is no crying or pain or death (Revelation 21:4). When we thank God for the beautiful objects and moments that occur with wonderful regularity in our lives, we act as image bearers of the One whose own divine heart beats fast for beauty.
Today, start a beauty journal. We’ve provided space at the end of this week. Each day, list five objects, events, or relationships that strike you as beautiful. Thank God for each one—small or great—and ask Him to open your eyes even more to the beauty that surrounds you. Watch how God reveals Himself to you through unexpected beauty.
Beauty takes work. “Gardens are not made by singing ‘Oh, how beautiful!’ and sitting in the shade,” said British poet Rudyard Kipling. Even God labored for six days to create a beautiful world.
Ana Roš knows how to work hard for beauty. She grew up in Slovenia under a Communist government. Ana loved good food but had to travel to the Italian border to find a Michelin-star restaurant. At the time, Slovenia was not known for its fine dining. “There was no excess, novelty, or expression,” said Ana. “Everything was the same, not only in art but in gastronomy.”Ana believed that food should look beautiful and taste heavenly. She returned to her hometown in the Soca Valley and with her husband Valter, a sommelier, revolutionized the local restaurant, Hiša Franko. It took years to perfect her craft of cooking local ingredients in surprising and delicious ways. Ana worked late into the night and suffered the temporary rejection of her parents and local diners before finally attaining success. In 2017, The World’s 50 Best Restaurants declared Ana the world’s best female chef.
With Ana’s story in mind, ask yourself what stewardship of beauty you have been given and write it down in the back of your beauty journal. How has God uniquely equipped you to create beauty in this world? Do you have a passion or interest that seems impossible to achieve but keeps coming to mind over and over? As psychologist Dan Allender writes, “It is my responsibility to first own what most deeply moves me and then to live it out for the sake of others.” What responsibility has God given you?
What most deeply moves you, and how can you live that out for the sake of others?
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