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A Beautiful Place, With An Ugly Problem
by Shannon Heiden
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Have you ever been in a beautiful place with an ugly problem? Have you ever had the best of times run the same path with the worst of times? You are the smartest you've ever been, had more peace than you've ever known, you have more wisdom and joy than you've ever had on one side of your life, just to turn to the other side and have a huge heap of doubt, fear and the immovable stone of defeat staring you right in the face?

Do you know what it is to be totally apprehended by the King, to walk in His ways, to dwell with him and feel your inner most being at peace on one hand, just to be awakened to the pain of what is going on in the other hand with all the trumoil grief and strife that is waging war against your very soul?

Just when you think you have finally stepped through all the muck and mire of your own life's issues, just when you finally see the hand of God move the mountains on your behalf, just when you finally catch your breath and have sighed a sigh of relief that you are finally on your way, just when you have done incredible divine things, things that astounded you, things that only God could get the honor for, something out of nowhere sneaks up behind you and hits you so hard that you don't just get rocked by it but you find yourself face down and completly out for the count?

What do you do when your in a beautiful place with an ugly, ugly problem? What do you do when your heart has been renewed, restored, healed and thriving again, only to realize that it is now strong enough to be broken? What do you do when nothing makes sense, all have forsaken you, your fighting the good fight and even though your not losing ground, your not gaining it either, your just stuck in a place called Beautiful, it's within your grasp, you can see it, feel it, even touch it but your stuck in the in-between place with an ugly mess, one that you didn't even create but you find yourself in nevertheless?

There was a man who sat daily at the temple gate and the gate was called Beautiful(Acts3:6), the bible says that this man was lame since birth, here we find him sitting daily at the gate called Beautiful. His problem was ugly but he was in a beautiful place.

There was another man who was in a garden; a place called Eden. God put this man in a beautiful place, He even formed him in this place and all that the Father created was his for the taking but there was an ugly serpent who was lying in wait,here he was in a beautiful place with an ugly problem.

Then we look to Jesus in the garden of Gethesemane, we see our Savior who was in a beautiful place but with the ugly problem of laying down his will and submitting to carrying the cross for you and I.He was in a beautiful place with an ugly problem.

What do you do when your in a beautiful place with an ugly problem?

If it were simply answered I would like to know what it is so that I could answer it for myself but the truth is; if our Savior went through it, if our fellow brothers and sisters have gone through it, we will go through the double edge sword of being in a beautiful place with an ugly problem.

We will know the best of times and the worst of times, we will know Him in the power of His resurrection AND the fellowship of His suffering. May I suggest that the mountaintop experiences aren't as wonderful unless we really know what it cost us personally to get there.

Have we stopped to consider that night always comes before the day dawns, Jesus had to die in order to be resurrected, weeping may endure before true joy comes? Do we realize that when the light is shining the brightest, the darkness has never been so dark around us? To live and love in this life really means that when you give your heart away, it may not always come back in one piece.

When I am honest with myself I realize I dont have an answer, but in that honesty I have the comfort of knowing the One who does. He may not give it when I want Him to and it may not come the way I think it should but He is faithful and He who promised will also do it, whatever it is. It really doesnt matter what knocks us down, what matters is; He is able to raise us up, brusies, scratches, broken bones, tears and all.

I have come to only know this; when we are closest to our greatest miracle, all Hell seems to break loose on us. When we are closest to our breakthough things seem to fall apart and we if we are not careful and if we don't take a moment to step back and examine the ugliness in light of our Beautiful God than our problems could and will overtake us.

Yea, even though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, God is with us. Jesus walked through it but the one thing that sustained him and got him though was that He knew what we tend to forget- we may have to walk there but we aren't to stay there, there is something beautiful up ahead on the other side of the valley, there is something beautiful on the other side of the ugly cruxifiction, there is something beautiful on the other side of the gate and the beauty of it is, the ugly problem is your stepping stone to finding it.

May I suggest to you that when things are at their worst, God is at His best and the ones who behold the ugliness are the very same ones who give the greatest glory to our Beautiful God.

Hold on, The Best Is Yet To Come!

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