Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "O Lord Of Heav'n And Earth And Sea"1 (Lyrics)
Psalm 111:2 – Great are the works of the Lord; they are pondered by all who delight in them. (NIV)
One morning, I decided simply to gaze at some blue jays just outside our window. I did that for a reason: I felt that I was becoming too complacent about blue jays. They're always around — plenty of them. I saw them mostly as raucous squawkers that chase smaller birds away from the feeder and gobble up the seed.
Yet, I noticed that our guests viewed the blue jays quite differently. As soon as a bird perched near the window, they'd get all excited. They'd stop our conversation and, with wide-eyed wonder, they'd blurt, "Oh wow! Look at that blue jay!" Some guests have even reached for their cell phone cameras to take pictures. They'd sit at the window and wait patiently for the ideal photo opportunity. So much for our conversation! The blue jays had stolen the show — yet again!
That particular morning, I was determined to view the blue jays through the eyes of our guests, so I lingered at the window and simply gazed upon their beauty. As I stood there, I found myself awe-struck by the colours: the dazzling blues glowing in the sunlight, the black and white marks setting off the pure blue hues. I was captured by the stately crest. Truly, a blue jay is distinct in its beauty.
That day, the splendour of those birds truly delighted me. But more than that, it changed me. My little exercise had caused me to divert my thoughts away from the relentless routines, concerns, and humdrum of life. The clock stood still for a few moments. A serene peace welled up within. A song arose from my heart to the One Who reflects His beauty in all He creates — for He Himself is the epitome of beauty.
Psalm 27:4 – One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple. (NIV)
I believe that every human heart yearns to be utterly immersed in beauty — ultimately the beauty of the Lord — to dwell in His infinite, eternal presence, to delight in Him every moment, and to experience an existence beyond life's temporal confines. This is surely an authentic, godly desire.
Why is the beauty of our Lord so splendid, so desirable, and so rewarding? It is because in Him, we experience something utterly distinct from anything else we know. For He alone is pure and true, free from moral tarnish, set apart from the brokenness of the world in which we are immersed. Gazing on His holy beauty is, in fact, true worship:
Psalm 96:9a – O worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. (KJV)
Prayer: O Lord, teach us to overcome those hindrances which keep us from recognizing Your beauty and delighting in it. Whenever our eyes get riveted on the concerns of life, please centre us back in You, that we may gaze on Your holy beauty and be transformed by it — for Your glory. Amen.