“I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw.” Proverbs 24:32 NIV

 What Have You Learned?

Part 2

As we continue yesterday’s thoughts on what I’ve learned in the 10 years since I developed a chronic health condition, I pray the Lord has stirred your heart about the things you have learned in difficult circumstances—places the Lord is speaking to you to mourn and move on.

A wonderful thing happened as I was looking across Whiskeytown Lake at the scarred mountains, mourning the loss of so much. A large family pulled up in three cars, got out, and came around where I was sitting. They appeared to be traveling through, not locals. As they were taking selfies in front of the lake I heard a teenage girl say, “Isn’t it beautiful! Look at how the water is emerald green here and amazing blue over there!” It made me smile and brought tears to my eyes all at once.

Perspective is an amazing thing. They had no idea what it looked like before. Obviously, they could tell there had been a fire, but there was no grieving what had been—only wonder at what was. There’s a huge lesson to be learned there. What if we could put behind us the grief of what was—be it relationships, health, careers, environment, etc.—and move on to the wonder of what is?

The lake is still stunning. I began to notice things. There were eight little ducklings in the water below—I’m sure mama and papa ducks were somewhere nearby. Life goes on after tragedy (not to belittle or make light of it.) Life is painful, but it’s also incredible. The God of wonders and the Father of Lights (James 1:17) is always here. He longs to bring beauty from ashes (Isaiah 61:3), whether literal or otherwise.

I’ve learned perspective is huge.

As my heart opened up, the Lord began to show me other areas I needed a different perspective in. As I was getting back in the car, I got a text from the school one of my kids attended last year. Something had happened there, creating a situation to mourn and move on from; but I also needed to see the work God did there, the good. I mourned what had happened to another student, but there is beauty in where they are right now, and there is promise in where they’re going.

In obedience I went out to the lake, but in gratitude I stayed. I have learned life is tragic and full of beauty at the same time. There is a time to grieve the tragic—indeed, a sacred space to do so—but there is also a time to look past the tragedy and see the beautiful.

“Father God, help us to see the beauty in the hard and often tragic things in life. Give us Your perspective. Help us to learn what You would have us learn. Amen.”