The picture above is a picture from Watson Lake in Prescott, which we went to a few weeks ago after camping up north. I had seen pictures of Watson Lake and I had wanted to go there for awhile because it looked beautiful. To be honest though when we first got there, this picture is what I saw and although it’s pretty, I wasn’t super impressed. I knew the pictures I had seen were way more beautiful than this. So my friend and I started walking this path to get to a pile of boulders that we were going to sit on to watch the sunset. As we climbed to the top of the boulders, I started to notice a change and when we got to the top, this is what we saw. The beauty was around the boulders, it was after you climbed to the top, and it was on the other side of the lake.
This can be how it is in life also. We’re walking the path of life and we get to a stop that we think should be beautiful, then we’re disappointed when we realize it’s not what we expected. Yet in reality, there are just some boulders that you have to go around and climb up before you can see the the true beauty of a situation. You see this all throughout the Bible, as well.
• The Prodigal Son – he thought as soon as he had his portion of his inheritance, everything would be amazing. Then he ran out of money and didn’t know what to do so he returned home to be a servant and his dad welcomed him with open arms and an even more beautiful ending than he could imagine.
• Joseph – he got this beautiful coat from his father and thought that everything would be great, then his brothers sold him into slavery, he was thrown into prison, and he had a really rough life for awhile, yet it led to a beautiful story of forgiveness.
• Paul – he was a martyr for Christ, then he was redeemed and became a Christ follower so his life should have gotten better, right? No, not at all. He was thrown into prison many times, in fact the majority of the books he wrote, he wrote from prison. Yet he looked at them as boulders, knowing that the other side had something much more beautiful there. He stated things like, “what’s happened to me has really stood to advance the gospel” (Philippians 1:12) and “I rejoice in the Lord greatly” (many times throughout his writings). He had the vision that where he was isn’t the final beauty, it’s around the boulders and trials in his path where the ultimate beauty comes – the purpose he was here for (to reach people for Christ), which he definitely accomplished.
• Mary Magdalene – she thought she was going to the tomb to honor Jesus and yet when she got there, the tomb was empty. She was in despair when she found the empty tomb, not knowing where they took him or what happened to him, thinking his body was stolen in the night. Yet the ending was the beautiful ending of Jesus being raised from the dead.
• Jesus – the ultimate story of sacrifice, overcoming boulders, and the most beautiful ending of all. He knew He came to earth to be the living sacrifice, he was fully God while also fully human, so He knew what was going to happen. He even told people throughout his earthly life that he would be crucified. Yet because He was fully human, he encountered many obstacles, including temptation (the largest time of temptation was when Satan was tempting him on the mountain), anger (when the merchants were using the tables and he overturned the tables), and frustration when he cried out to God before his crucifixion “if it’s your will, let this cup pass from me.” Yet He didn’t fall to temptation, He never sinned, and he followed God’s plan for his very painful death because he is the living sacrifice. He knew he needed to do that in order to save the world from their sins and provide the ultimate redemption story. The beautiful ending in this is the most beautiful story of forgiveness, redemption, and unending love.
For those of you stuck in a time right now where you can’t see the beauty and you’re struggling to climb the boulders, keep pressing on and pushing forward because these are only a few examples of how people have overcome their boulders and have had a beautiful ending, there are so many more and your story will be one of them. Keep shining your light and moving forward in faith that around the boulders and obstacles, it will be the most beautiful sight you can ever imagine. I’m praying for you and I love you all.