Briefness of Beauty

"God promises forever. He has promised unending joy with him."

by Diane Reiber, artist and author of Light Collection

Early spring weather in Nebraska is unpredictable and when flowers bloom, concerns that follow are warranted, “just wait for that late spring ice storm, sadly the blooms won’t last.” While this can be true, privately I’ve reconciled with this fact because that is what makes these blooms even more special, the very briefness of them.

As I write, this Magnolia flower I’m enjoying looks spectacular, meanwhile, its fellow blooms outside are not. An ice storm did get to them and damaged their petals. I’m grateful for the time that I spent yesterday sitting outside on the step and taking in their fragrance. The other great discovery as I sat there, I noticed tight buds that are waiting to bloom later, the hope of beauty to be continued.

As I think more about this idea of beauty with its briefness, I realize how we want to capture moments and keep them. We long for forever right now. That piece of chocolate cake freshly baked with its lingering scent in the kitchen will be crumbs on a plate soon. Children swinging happily on a swing will eventually lead to getting off and moving on to something else. A special day like a wedding that we plan for months, will end as well in the evening with glitter and confetti on the dance floor as reminders. There is a longing though to capture these moments, tuck them away to keep.

Pictures can help remind us of these places in time. Writing down thoughts and memories in journals is something I love to do and reflect on. But there is still something not quite attainable and I feel this longing is hardwired in us.

God promises forever. He has promised unending joy with him. Can you for a moment imagine what that will feel like deep inside? To never again worry, to not have any angst at all? To realize in your depths that this joy will not be taken from you, nothing… not death, not job loss, divorce or sickness, those hardships simply gone forever. This new present and heavenly moment is breathtaking. Here on earth though, God promises heavenly moments as well: “Be exalted, O God, above the heavens, and your glory above all the earth” (Psalm 108:5).

We can enjoy life’s brief glorious moments now with the knowledge of forever with him and these moments are a preview of what is to come and stay always. It is freeing. It is what he wants for us. To make our decisions, our lives built around this truth, it is a way we can embrace beauty fully right now. It is a way we can let go of our worries. They need not weigh us down as heavenly peace is offered right now: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful” (John 14:27).

Where there is love, where there is beauty, these are moments of heaven on earth attainable now. As you embrace those moments you are embracing their creator and artist, God himself.