Posted by: bellissimanh | February 11, 2009

Beauty in the Devastation

Several of my friends have been hit hard by the recent ice storms. You can check out some of Maggie’s incredible photos here, and my friend Karen captured these…





The icestorms have caused incredible damage. Loss of power… loss of water… loss of property… loss of LIFE. And yet in the midst, there is beauty to be found — if we’re willing to look for it.

And when the storms of life come, we have a choice to make. We can focus on the problem… on the pain… on the predicament… or we can choose to seek out how the Lord is working this thing — this tragic and difficult thing — for our good and for His glory. There is beauty to be found in the devastation. There are nuggets of truth that our Heavenly Father is seeking to give us, if we will but look for them. He will reveal glimpses of His character to us, if we will seek Him. There are glories to be had here and now, if we will determine to see our current situation in light of His eternal purposes for us.

By nature, we tend to look to the physical. We become consumed with the things we can see and feel and touch. And when disaster strikes, if we are depending on a human foundation of bricks and mortar rather than on the Rock who won’t be shaken – Christ Jesus, then chances are we won’t be able to see anything but the ugliness of our circumstances. We need a heart that is living in light of eternity if we are to grasp the beauty there is to be found in the devastation.

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” (James 1:2-4)

And here’s a passage that was an incredible comfort to me when we were dealing with our own devastating set of circumstances:

“You will keep him in perfect peace him whose mind is stayed on Yu, because he trust in You. Trust in the LORD forever, For in YAH, the LORD, is everlasting strength.” (Isaiah 26:3-4)

Please continue to pray for Joel and Jess McClenahan, the parents of Baby Cora. I can only imagine their grief and sense of loss right now, but I pray that even in the midst of these difficult days, the Lord will give them fresh glimpses of His beauty in the midst of their circumstances. Today is the first day after Cora’s services.

I don’t know about you, but I know that I can certainly use a dose of perspective from time to time, and I’m challenged today to be more intentional in seeking out the beauty in the devastation… and even in the nitty gritty of ordinary everyday life.

I don’t want to miss even one snapshot of His glory!




  1. Isaiah 61 tells how God can bring about, “beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor.”

    Your story of Jessica touched me deeply. We serve a MIGHTY God! He is our FORTRESS, our DELIVERER, our REFUGE! What a testimony of a FAITHFUL LOVING God!

    Blessings – Lisa

  2. Those pictures are gorgeous. Yes – you can see the beauty if you look!

  3. Beautiful beautiful pictures to highlight such beautiful truth

  4. Isaiah 26:3-4…now those are words of COMFORT!


  5. I just talked to a college friend this morning about the Lord’s ability to bring beauty from ashes as she is dealing with yet another instance of unfaithfulness in marriage by her husband.

    It is so true. We can find the Lord in every circumstance in our life if we will only seek Him.


  6. I love these thoughts… I love how He is showing me beauty from pain. Our pain brings forth his beauty in our lives.

    OK… a different twist on beauty from pain- His pain has brought beauty to us, too. In the John Piper book I’m reading (The Passion of Jesus Christ) one section talks about as Jesus died, He demonstrated his GREAT LOVE for us – vile sinners. I like the last paragraph of the section, which I’ll just quote, “There is only one explanation for God’s sacrifice for us. It is not us. It is ‘the riches of his grace’ (Eph. 1:7). it is all free. It is not a response to our worth. It is the overflow of his infinite worth. In fact, that is what divine love is in the end: a passion to enthrall undeserving sinners, at great cost, with what will make us supremely happy forever, namely, his infinite beauty.”

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