I don’t feel pretty
He has made everything beautiful in its time. – Ecclesiastes 3:11
1 For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.
2 A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest.
3 A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up.
4 A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance.
5 A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
6 A time to search and a time to quit searching. A time to keep and a time to throw away.
7 A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
8 A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace.
9 What do people really get for all their hard work?
10 I have seen the burden God has placed on us all.
11 Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in a beginning to end.
12 So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can.
Remember the delightful song Maria sang in Westside Story?
I feel pretty, Oh, so pretty, I feel pretty and witty and bright!
And I pity any girl who isn’t me tonight.
I feel charming Oh, so charming
It’s alarming how charming I feel!
And so pretty that I hardly can believe I’m real.
The trouble for most of us is, we don’t feel pretty! Sometimes we wonder if our heavenly Father had not made a big mistake when He created us.
The Father intends to make EVERYTHING beautiful in its time. That is His goal and objective for all that He has created. He is doing the same for each child of the King. We are His canvas. The Father is the painter! But we are His work of art in progress. He is creating beauty in its time.
Watch a painter paint. He starts with an idea, a mental image, a sketch, or in our times a photo or digital image. He sketches on the cloth or digital canvas, splashes colors on it, begins to create perspective and balance. Then he fine-tunes it until it is complete and exactly how he intends.
It does not take much imagination to believe that our Father created all that exists similarly. But there is a major difference. For Him, there was no time involved. It was instantaneous creation by His spoken word.
6 The LORD merely spoke, and the heavens were created. He breathed the word, and all the stars were born.
9 For when he spoke, the world began! It appeared at his command.
He created matter and time, landscapes and mountains, seas and galaxies. Is it too much to envision the Father putting His creative touch on each sunset and rainbow?
In English, “Beautiful in its time” is an unusual combination and reflects a literal translation of the Hebrew idiom. We do not normally think of time itself as being beautiful.
The Hebrew word translated beautiful is yapheh. Yapheh began as a visual term, that is, it refers to things that are seen, beautiful, lovely things, or people. Job’s daughters were beautiful women (Job 42:15). Later the word became more general in meaning and had the sense of something that was good or right or pleasing or something that was proper, complete, appropriate, or excellent.
As we move through time, the Father is at work to make everything proper and correct, that is, beautifully appropriate. We can translate this phrase as “God makes everything happen at its proper time” or “Everything God does, He does when the time is right” (UBS).
The Father is the sovereign King, the Ruler of both time and beauty.
The wise choice is simple, be patient! The Father is skillfully and wisely putting the finishing touches on the canvas of our lives. As we change our way of thinking and accept life as coming to us from our good, kind, and loving Father, even the most difficult things become tolerable. “A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down” (Mary Poppins).
We are simply passing through time. With a few exceptions, almost everything we experience is very temporary. It simply passes.
In REFLECT & PRAY
The Father is always at work in each child of the King. He is creating masterpieces. His artistic efforts in our lives are a work in progress. He is simply not finished yet.
Father I recognize You are the great artist and my life is but one of the untold numbers of canvases upon which You are working. Your goal is to make everything beautiful, appropriately beautiful in its time. Thank You.
People are time-bound, that is, we are stuck in time. We have no control over time. How do we view the events of our lives? Are they random happenings? Are they merely the result of chance and determined by an unguided toss of celestial dice?
The Scriptures are quite clear. The Father created time for His purposes. He put people into time to carry out His eternal plan. He is in complete control and intervenes in the time-space continuum as He chooses. “Every event has its definite place in the time-order; the event is inconceivable without its time, and vice a versa” (von Rad).
Ephesians 2:10 For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
Ecclesiastes offers a worldview, the Father’s worldview, which is intended to be a source of great confidence and optimism. Such confidence is to be tempered with humility and gratefulness. In the time-space continuum on planet Earth, the Father is working to fulfill His great purposes. He is at work in each child of the King, creating His intelligently conceived and designed artistic masterpiece.
In creation, we see only what is made without being able to fully grasp and comprehend the genius and creativity of the One who created it. As we search out and examine the intelligent design of planet Earth and the universe are understanding increases. All the more so as we recognize His unique and diverse handiwork in the life of each child of the King.
In one sense, the Father’s ways and thoughts are unfathomable. Yet at the same time, he created us to be curious and seeking. During our lifetimes, we will never fully comprehend and be satisfied. But it is our privilege and honor to plumb the depths of Who and What He is.
The Father created within each child of the King the desire to understand life. Yet at the same time, He set limitations of our ability to do so. Full, complete understanding is continually beyond our grasp. We can only imagine perfection. We never fully achieve it in this life. If our goal is perfection, disappointment will certainly prove to be our constant companion.
We may be indeed trapped in time. The Father created time.