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Saturday, October 29, 2016

The Joy Of Being Beautifully Alive

 A life of worship and surrender to God's ability to free us, heal us, and make us whole brings us to the greatest gift we can receive upon exiting the darkness behind the door: that of being beautifully alive. Once we begin to see the fullness of what He has in store for us, we discover how beautiful everything is: relationships can be beautiful; people can be beautiful - from the heart; nature can be beautiful; every moment can be beautiful; and yes...even the past can be beautiful if we allow Him to make it so. 
 Behind the door, we don't feel much like really living. Quite honestly, many of us feel dead inside, suffocated by the darkness within. Being beautifully alive is a far cry from the sense of loneliness we carry with us. While we may appear to be alive on the outside, we are on life-support on the inside. Our soul feels ready to give up and die.
 And yet, outside of the door, we find a new appreciation for all that God has given us. We seem to be in continuous state of thankfulness and worship, being filled with the power of God that makes one shine from within. To live beautifully is to live a life that is ridiculously good. We become free to explore the vast world that God lays before us - we become free to taste the goodness of God in each moment of each day. Beautifully alive equals unlimited possibilities. 
 Beautifully alive. I have discovered what this means as I have stepped from my past and left the darkness of my life behind the door. My life now is not a stage production. The world is not my audience. God is the show. Consequently, I have become free to be the person God wants me to be, to use my gifts and abilities to the fullest, all the while putting Him first in all I do. My journey to wholeness has become less about myself and more about others. More...ultimately...about God. Sharing a relationship with the One who redeems me has given me the permission to dream big and dare to fail. Risk-taking, while still not an easy thing for me, has become more habitual as I push myself to new heights of striving to live to my complete potential.
 Beautifully alive. This concept has enabled me to embrace the entirety of myself, to acknowledge my weaknesses as well as my strengths, knowing that, in either case, I am still loved, accepted, and blessed way beyond what I deserve. 
 Beautifully alive. For me, life is in a continuous state of adventure - a far fry from the monotonous drone of the voices in my head that used to hold me back when I was behind the door. Everything in my now says, "Let's go!"
 Beautifully alive. Such is the existence we are given when we rise up from the ashes of our past and are willing to open the door of our lives. Stepping from our pain into the reality of hope and renewal gives us a new ticket to life. Each day becomes one of expectancy as we await the next miracle we will behold. The idea of becoming beautifully alive allows us to see how much we've been given and to be thankful for it. Those who live in this fullness have a contagious attitude of gratitude that infuses joy into those around them. It's a life of positive action that nullifies the negative reality we used to know. 
 Beautiful. Think about it this way: God created us and knew about us before the world was ever made and had big plans for our lives. To Him, we are precious. Bearers of His image, it is our duty to embrace the life He has given us in a spirit of gratitude. Bending before the altar. Each one of us. Beautiful to God in every way.
 Alive. Imagine - the dead, broken us being given a new chance to be somebody better than the person we've been in the past. Resurrected, not just in spirit but in life, in person. By believing the God who is, we can be raised to life from our darkness and shattered realities (John 11:25). My life, your life, is enabled to be transformed by God into a glorious place of rebirth and restoration. Alive. Fully alive. Once dead, now beautifully alive. 
 Standing now in the light of our new world outside of the door, the darkness has been chased away - our lives are each a cathedral, majestically radiating the rays which shine from without. Daily, we come to His altar to give thanks. Daily, we see the stained glass, an image of our life once broken, now made whole. Daily, we pause reverently and say, 

"Be in our midst."

We know, and we want to approach Him. We know how to find Him. There is nothing to hide. Unlike in former years, the door is open. Light is pouring in. We desire to be changed, to be transformed. To continue to journey from God's enemy, or maybe God's fan, to God's follower. We never want to go back...only forward...toward the new me - and away from the old. No more sitting in the darkness - just living fully in the light. All light. Beautifully alive. Because now - today - this is the new truth, the new reality:

"I [Jesus] am the light of the world. Whoever follows me
will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
(John 8:12)

As the Living Bible translation puts it:

" won't be stumbling through the darkness, 
for living light will flood your path."

Living light. Yes...that's what we long for - to be fully alive, to be able to see clearly, to be made whole. We yearn to have that light of life flooding our path, to know that we are being led faithfully toward the hope and joy of becoming beautifully alive.
 Beyond the pain of life behind the door, life is ridiculously good! I want to enjoy it to the fullest. I pray you do, too. Let's go and experience the ride together. Beautiful. Full. And yes, abundantly alive.