Part 2: Beauty In Unexpected Places

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For the story behind the title, see my post, Part 1: Beauty In Unexpected Places.

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As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth; It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it. – Isaiah 55:10-11

 

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The day is yours, and yours also the night; you established the sun and moon. It was you who set all the boundaries of the earth; you made both summer and winter.Psalm 74:16-17

 

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He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth,’ and to the rain shower, ‘Be a mighty downpour.’ So that all men he has made may know his work, he stops every man from his labor.Job 37:6-7

 

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Praise the LORD from the earth, you great sea creatures and all ocean depths, lightning and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds that do his bidding. – Psalm 148:7-8

 

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He spreads the snow like wool and scatters the frost like ashes.Psalm 147:16

Part 1: Beauty In Unexpected Places

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We headed north for vacation in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It was counterintuitive as a spring break destination. We traded sandy beaches for rocky shores, ocean waves for the swells of Lake Superior, swimsuits for winter boots, and warm days for windblown snow.

Visiting family and a comfortable place to stay for free were the allure. However, we discovered so much more: the beauty of winter. The pristine snow sharpened the sky’s blue and the pine trees’ green. The cold breeze coming off the lake created intricate designs along the shore. White and gray displayed their own palettes of color. If the cold didn’t take my breath away, God’s handiwork in the winter season did!

At first glance, much in the Bible seems counterintuitive to the world’s way of thinking. “Bless those who curse you.” “Love your enemies.” “Lose your life to find your life.” Only sacrifice atones for sin. Death leads to life. These challenges to our human perspective are given clarity at the cross of Jesus Christ.

As the only perfect sacrifice, Jesus died for God’s enemies to demonstrate God’s love. In the ugliness and starkness of the cross, God wrought the everlasting beauty and glory of eternal life through Easter’s resurrection. The cross was the means and the price to provide for our salvation and the forgiveness of sins. The Easter story is our story!

May we approach and celebrate every day by thanking God who shows up with beauty in the least expected places.

(See more pictures of winter beauty in my post, Part 2: Beauty In The Least Expected Places.)

Romans 5:8

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

1 John 4:10

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.