Listen to Audio (right click to save)
Not long ago, we had a chance to tour a cave that's been recognized as one of the most beautiful in America. And it really does offer some breathtaking views. Now, most of the caves you can tour in America were discovered some time in the 1800s. Not this one. It was just discovered in 1969. Really it was discovered because of a giant sinkhole that opened up. Some adventurous young men decided to crawl down into that sinkhole and see where it led. The cave guide showed us the little hole in the rocks that they crawled through and then out into this huge room, decorated with spectacular rock formations. I don't suppose the big lights and sidewalks and the railings were there when they first looked in, but they must have been amazed at what they did see, and what millions have been able to discover because they did. And it was all because of a sinkhole.
I'll bet a lot of folks weren't very happy about that big hole in the ground opening up. It probably was a pain for some people; potentially dangerous for others. But the "problem" of that sinkhole turned out to be the access route to beauty like those folks had never seen before.
That's happened to a lot of us when a big hole has opened up in our life - when things collapsed. And it may be that God is wanting you to look beyond that big hole to see the undiscovered beauty that's underneath it.
In our word for today from the Word of God, He talks about folks who had some major sinkholes open up in their lives. In Isaiah 61:1: "The Lord has sent Me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners...to comfort all who mourn, and provide for all those who grieve in Zion." Then He goes on to show what beauty He hopes we will discover in our grief, "To bestow on them a crown of beauty for ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair." Beauty in the middle of ashes, gladness in the middle of mourning, and praise in the middle of despair.
When things collapse in our life, we are keenly aware of what we've lost. Unless we go deeper, unless we go looking, we will miss what He's wanting us to gain from this; the things He wants us to see that we would never see without that collapse.
It's in our hurting times that we can see in the person we married some beautiful strengths that we either forgot or we never noticed. If you let the cave-in drive you closer to your children or your parents, you may see in them a beauty that you've missed before. If you look the right direction, a time of loss can be a time of finally seeing the everyday blessings in your life that you've been taking for granted. The hole that's opened up may provide an opportunity for people to really show you how much they love you, for you to appreciate your Christian friends in a new way, for you to tell people that you've prayed for about your Jesus. And they'll listen to you now because of what you've been through.
Most of all, when things collapse you can see the faithfulness and love and power of your Lord in ways that we can only see when we're desperate and beyond what we can fix, what we can handle. This season when things are caving in can be a season of life-changing discovery, as well. You can't make the hole in your life go away, but you can go through it to discover beauty that you could never see any other way.
Distributed by Ron Hutchcraft Ministries, Inc.
Learn three secrets to loving what you do from Ron Hutchcraft's message, "How to Love Your Job No Matter What." This complimentary CD provides new perspective on how your boss, your pay, and your hard work can help you love your job.