Do you see the beauty? The picture on the left, showing a Doe with her two Fawn's was not the actual picture I saw and took with my iphone this morning. Actually, the one on the right is the photo I took. What's wrong? Are you not seeing the beauty? Well, I do. Why? Because I was there and experienced it.
This mornning I was driving in for my 1 of 2 last meeting times with my CR Step Group brothers as we wrap up a year process of walking thru the 8 principles based on the Beatitudes.
I came down my hill in Springdale AR, across the bridge where a large open field on my left had this picture standing before me. I was taken back by the beauty in these animals and stopped my truck in the middle of the road to gaze at their beauty. Sitting in the middle of the road, (yes in the middle of the road. There isnt much traffic out at 4:30am) about 30 yards from my truck were standing these deer, a doe and her two fawns. I was mesmerized as I sat their with my windows rolled down on this cool morning.
The street light shining on the street corner allowed me the gift of seeing these creatures taking a break from their morning feast.
I realized that this was such a good sight, that I should take a picture so I could share it with my brothers and sisters. So I took out my phone to get a picture and they never moved a muscle. I was so excited! This was going to be the perfect picture right? I snapped the picture of beauty with a click and a flash, it was captured for life what I was seeing with my own two eyes.
Then....I looked at the photo. Yes, the photo above on the right. As you can see, it just didnt do it justice. To you it may be a messy black, and fuzzy picture that does anything but show beauty. But to me, it is beauty.
How is this possible? Because I experienced this beauty for myslef.
As I drove away to go to my step group I was taken back as I thought of the journey this past 12 months has been with my Step Group brothers.
God took a messy group of men, myself included, and turned ashes into beauty.
Now, if you were to ask these guys about their journey thru the 8 principles with 15 men this past year plus, they would have many things to tell you about it. "Life changing, renewed, hopeful, new healthy relationships, taking responsibility for their life for the first time, more time with God, a richer quiet time (let alone quiet time at all), becoming better dads, husbands, brothers, friends, servants for Christ."
All that would sound great, but to some it would still seem distant.
You see, the thing is, we have seen, tasted and experienced these things together and just like my morning deer experience, I can only help you understand how good and how blessed we are as a result of being there and living it. But, the only way to really understand it would be to have an encounter for yourself. The neat thing about it is that we all encounter this process in different ways. We grow at a different pace. We all walk away with a different take away because God is talking to us and meeting us where we are. Growing us in His timing as we seek Him.
To some, when we say this expereince was life changing it is good to hear and makes us feel good as we imagine what a picture of beauty from ashes can look like. But, until you live it and experience it, you won't ever really know what I am talking about.
Don't get me wrong, we are commanded to and should be a blessing to others thru sharing our story, investing in others, letting others know where we have been so that we can expericnce continued growth and provide hope for others. But, until people take that step, they won't ever fully undertand what we are talking about.
The only way to fully experience that blessing is to become a part of what God is doing. To emerse ourself in the process of renewing our mind so that we will be able to test and approve what His good and perfect will is for us in our life. (Rom 12:1-2)
Psalm 30:1-3 "I will exalt you, O Lord, for you lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me. O Lord my God, I called to you for help and you healed me. O Lord, you brought me up from the grave, you spared me from going down into the pit"
Have you been putting off getting into CR and a CR step group? Is fear keeping you from experiencing His full blessings? Are you allowing the fear of the unknown, failure, past hurt, denial in the present or fear of the future to hold you back from seeing His beauty? Don't let the enemy fill your head with lies. I have personally seen the picture of beauty and if He can restore a wretched man like me, I know He can you too.
Find a CR near you and get plugged in. If you don't have a CR, ask your Pastor about starting one. We need to spend as much time on our recovery as we have our dysfunction, struggles, hang-ups, resentment or addiction and stop and gaze at the beauty He will create one right in front of our eyes. He wants to make a new photo of beauty in you, but you just have to surrender.
God bless you.
For more information about Celebrate Recovery near you OR how to start a CR in your church, contact Rodney at 479-659-3679 or firstname.lastname@example.org or go to http://www.celebraterecovery.com/ to sign up for a ONE Day National Training.