I know several people who just seem to radiate joy, even through short texts or notes in the mail. Who brim with a fervor that spills over into the lives of others. Who are not content to simply exist, but who love and learn and grow.
I know others whose dark pasts have turned into beautiful testimonies. Who have let their stories become beacons of hope.
There is one woman I meet with regularly who has endured deep loss. The other week, she welcomed me into her home and pulled out paper creased between the pages of her Bible. Parsing through her notes, she read of the character of God, of His goodness and grace and mercy.
Even as tears filled her eyes, her voice rose with strength and assurance.
Here was someone who had lost so much, yet was brimming with such joy. Just like the leaves outside, bursting with color, holding onto every last ounce of life.
That is beauty. Not that our world is absent from chaos. Not that our lives are easy. But that His grace is sufficient. That He is breathing life into us, moment by moment, day by day.
Jesus never promised an easy life, but he did promise an abundant one. One filled with hope and joy in the midst of pain. One of grace and comfort even as our burdens grow greater.
Because every day, we are being changed. And our hearts are being renewed (John 10:10). So that when our last few moments fall like the leaves around us, they do not fall heavy. They tell a story of beauty and hope, our legacies filled with life and love.
Telling of an Author who can make even the hardest of fights look beautiful.
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.”2 Corinthians 4:16