Normally I try to include a photo with my essay, but I think when you hear about this one, you'll agree that it was best I not take that photo!
A couple of weeks ago I was on my way to work. As I was driving along our four lane road (with a left turn lane, which I was in) I looked to the left and saw growing out of the concrete median, right up at the drain culvert, a very small patch of clover (I told you I couldn't take that picture!!). I happen to like clover. Especially the kind that grows in my area here in the south. The flower on this clover is a wonderful shade of reddish pink, and is oblong in shape, not the small round kind that grows where I used to live up north. I thought, "thank you Lord, for this bit of color!" Out of the ugly pavement was a beautiful blessing. The ugliness of the pavement made the simple beauty of the clover more appealing to me.
Have you thought about the beauty that's to be seen when we go through rough, ugly, seemingly barren times in our lives? What about the act of kindness someone offers, the unexpected smile? I know I always appreciate those things, but even more so when I am going through a rough time in my life.
Take it one step further: What about God? In the darkest of times, in the darkness of our sins, God gave His most beautiful, most precious gift to us. Out of the ugliness of my sin, I can appreciate the gift of His Son. Out of the ugliness of my sin, I realize that I NEED the gift of His Son! The ugliness makes the beauty much more appealing. For me, at least.
Ephesians 2:8-9 says "For by GRACE are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves. It is a GIFT of God, not of works, lest any man should boast." Also, John 3:16 says "For God so LOVED the world that He GAVE His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Jesus, the only Son He has, the most precious person or thing in the universe, was freely given to ME, so that I could have life with Him. All I have to do is ACCEPT HIM (I've accepted Him, how about you?). Out of the ugliness of the sin of this world, the darkness of our guilt, comes the beautiful love of God!