When I was in my early 20’s I was plagued with cystic acne. Having always enjoyed pristine skin, I had no reason to anticipate these changes that accompanied my early adult years. At first I tried to cover it, then I tried to fix it, then I felt ashamed of it (taking it quite personally), and then I just endured it and avoided mirrors. Of course, I was never happy about it nor did I fail to notice the constant ache it created as the deep-seated nodules put pressure against my facial bones. Looking back, it seems so insignificant and not even worth recalling — if not for the valuable lessons God showed me during and after those uncomfortable, drawn-out years. Eventually my skin cleared up; but, surprisingly, the change did not make me any happier or more confident as a woman.
We all know that external beauty is only skin-deep; but oh how easy it is to let injuries, childbirth, deformities, cancer, physical decline, sickness and scars maime our sense of self-confidence. Praise God for His unconditional love that considers us beautiful and valuable no matter how we feel about ourselves.
When I think about the times that I feel truly radiant, I notice that it has nothing to do with my physical appearance. It is not because I am pleased with my weight, my hair, my face or my outfit. Instead, such moments of true radiance, when I know beauty, are when I gaze upon beauty — not compete with it.
I will bless the LORD at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
My soul will make its boast in the LORD;
The humble will hear it and rejoice.
O magnify the LORD with me,
And let us exalt His name together.
I sought the LORD, and He answered me,
And delivered me from all my fears.
They looked to Him and were radiant,
And their faces will never be ashamed.
Continually celebrating and knowing the Lord as the Holy One, the Worthy One, the Magnificent One make the release from any fears or self-consciousness a gracious certainty. As pride seeks to compete for God’s glory, thankfulness and joy come to the ones who turn their eyes to Jesus. Any glory that God has reflected upon us must be turned back to Him. We decrease and He increases (John 3:30). He makes us beautiful because He created us in His image (Genesis 1:26-27, Psalm 139:14). He makes us radiant because of His glory and calling (2 Corinthians 3:18, Ephesians 5:27). He makes us full because of His fullness (Colossians 2:9-10, John 1:16). He makes us pure because of His precious Son’s blood (1 John 2:12, Revelation 1:5). Having caught His eye, we realize that no greater admiration is equal.
When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained;
What is man that You take thought of him…
About the Writer:
Lyndsay has been many things in her past, but no career, experience, or calling define her more than the desire to follow after Christ in response to His gracious work in her life. At present, she teaches movement classes and works as a wellness consultant in addition to raising her daughter to know and love the Lord.