‘Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in’
1 Peter 3v4
We have all had those days when we wake up, look in the mirror and see that unwanted blemish that has emerged over night in the most annoying of places! At the sight of this ‘ugly’ we usually do one of two things, either cover it up with foundation and concealer, or squeeze it in the hope it will go away.
In much the same way, the enemy will seek to put an ‘ugly’ on the beauty of your life in Christ. He specializes in placing irritation under your skin. Trying to create a blemish of bitterness and scars from jealously and envy. We have to commit to become women who don't try to hide or cover over these ‘uglies’, but rather to let Gods word cleanse them, thereby restoring us.
Genesis 29 v16 we meet two sisters who both had their own blemishes with which to contend. The older sister Leah, was told from an early age she was not beautiful. She was described as ‘dull in appearance’ and compared constantly to her beautiful, younger sister, Rachel. Leah’s father, believing she wasn’t lovely enough to find love on her own, even tricked Jacob, her sister’s suitor, by disguising Leah as his bride. No wonder Leah found it hard to believe that there was any beauty in her life! Yet Leah’s story goes on to show us how she was able to move from a place of rejection to a place of rejoicing.
After separating from those around her Leah dared to trust God, by opening her heart again and letting Him love her. God’s love looks for those who feel unlovely, desiring to make them beautiful again. Gen 29 says 'God loved Leah and he opened her womb'. She became pregnant and went on to have three more children, who all became part of her healing process. Leah gave each child a name that marked her journey. God had taken her from brokenness to beauty, from barrenness and bitterness, to having a new life and hope in Him. Lets learn from her journey how we too can dare to be beautiful again.
Leah named her first born, Reuben, which means ‘God sees’. When we have blemishes in our life, we can feel no one would want to look at us, so we hide and become isolated. Leah had been overlooked all her life, told she was ugly and hidden from sight. But this first child awakened her to the knowledge that God had seen, valued and loved her just as she was.
Her second son she named Simeon, which means ‘God hears’. The ‘uglies’ in life can often silence us. We become embarrassed, even fearful to speak up, so we stay quiet. Leah had to learn that she had a voice… and God had heard her.
Her third child was named Levi, whose name means ‘companionship’. I love this part of Leah's restoration. Leah had never felt worthy of companionship, not from her sister, father or her husband. She had felt unworthy of being loved by someone, but when Levi was born, through the gift of this third son, she knew God was her greatest companion.
Her fourth son was Judah, whose name means ‘praise God’. Through a process of allowing God to bring out beauty in her life, understood God saw and heard her. He had chosen to be her companion and loved her and she was able to move her life from a place of pain, to a posture of praise.
When we become scarred by the ‘uglies’ and insecurities of life, we also have to be willing to embark on a journey: We have to be brave enough to open our lives again to let God reveal the beauty that is within. Thankfully, we don’t have to get physically pregnant to take this journey! But we do have to be spiritually open and find that God sees, hears and wants to be our greatest companion. You have to dare to be the beauty he made you to be.
1.What are you covering that needs His light to shine on it?
2. Where have you believed you are ugly when God calls you beautiful?
3. What can you do today to open up and let the healing begin ?
Charlotte has an infectious love for life, a deep love for people and zealous love for God’s House. Her passion is to build the local church across the earth, to see people reach their full potential and to develop and strengthen leadership. Charlotte is known for her practical, humorous and passionate application of Gods word. Her messages of life and purpose are rallying a generation to embrace the broken and become ambassadors of hope. Charlotte is an author, speaker, pastor and mother, she leads Life Church in England with her husband Steve and together they have two children, Hope Cherish and Noah Brave. Charlottegambill.com
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