It had been a fiercely cold week in Southern Ontario. Without an insulating layer of cloud, temperatures had dipped well below the freezing mark; and the prevalence of high winds throughout the week had driven the wind-chill factor down to the -20s- -30s. Needless to say, even die-hard walkers like my husband and myself found it difficult to motivate ourselves to go for a walk this week, and more than once I'd been tempted to complain about how much I hate the forced confinement of winter. Then, to make matters worse, we received a blanket of 6 inches of fresh snow overnight.

Yet as I looked outside from the patio door of my family room, what I see is the sun glinting off a beautiful blanket of white, accentuated by numerous ice sculptures. Stunningly beautiful!

It all reminded me of two things: First, despite the cold, I have been blessed with a warm home and a warm fireplace. That is more than most in this world can say. Secondly, it reminds me that when we take the time to look, we will find beauty in even our most negative surroundings, for hasn't God promised: "He has made everything beautiful in its time." (Eccl 3:11); and: "...we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to [His] purpose." (Rom 8:28)

Life can often be like the weather this past week: Dark, cold, fierce, it captures us and holds us in the veracious fangs of disease, addictions, relational problems, loss of jobs, basic needs, etc. As we go through life, we find ourselves having to endure one dark thing right after another. So where is the beauty in these most-negative situations?

God's promises to make everything beautiful in His time and to make everything work together for our good are not conditional, friends. God is faithful to His promises, all the time. Our job is simply to believe that He is faithful, and that He is a rewarder of those who earnestly seek Him: "...Anyone who comes to [God] must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him." (Heb 11:6b)

I was reading Luke 1 this past week. Though it is after Christmas, I felt impressed to reread the Christmas story, and my eyes were especially drawn to one verse. It is part of what Elizabeth said to Mary when she first saw her, and if God hadn't been trying to point it out to me, I probably would have missed it: "Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!" (Luke 1:45).

After rereading this a couple of times, I began to understand. God has made us many, many promises. Sometimes He promises to remove our bad circumstances. Other times He promises to carry us through them; but through it all, He promises to make something beautiful out of them.

That's God's part, friends, but we, too, have a role to play. Our job, like Mary, is to believe that the Lord will fulfill His promises to us, for when we believe in His promises, we are blessed: "Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her!"

What about it? Will you join me today in earnestly seeking God and in believing that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him? Will you allow Him to make something beautiful out of your negative experiences? Will you believe that He will fulfill His promises to you? For when you do, you, like Mary, will be "blessed!"

In His love,
Lyn

Lyn Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two, Author -- "Aboard God's Train -- A Journey With God Through the Valley of Cancer", Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries. Follow Lyn on Twitter @lynchaffart.