God Brings Forth Beauty

by Upper Room Administrator on Sunday, May 05, 2013

Today's meditation writer, Cathy Baker, writes about how God has blessed her life.


I will never forget that night. 


I’d just tucked my two little boys into their beds. All was quiet in our tiny duplex. Everything, that is, but my heart. It was unsettled, restless, and broken.


I knew my life was at a crossroad and as I stood peering down the hallway to the boy’s rooms, the two choices became clear: Continue down a self-driven path or surrender to the God I’d heard about all my life.


That night, I went from knowing about God to knowing Him by experience. For the first time in my life, I knew what it meant to truly surrender. I laid it all before God—my sins, failures and disappointments. I asked Him to take my life and to do with it as He pleased. I also asked Him to take complete control of my future, including whether or not I would ever marry again. I remember feeling a bit foolish for even uttering those words because of my circumstances, but I felt no condemnation in return. Instead, I sensed a heavenly Father that could not only be trusted but also loved.


As I look back on that night that took place over two decades ago, I do so with awestruck wonder.


God took me, a woman who had so much in common with the Samaritan woman at the well, and transformed my heart. He gave me not only eternal life but also an abundant one. Only God could bring forth such beauty.


God brought a godly man into my life who loved me unconditionally and loved my two boys like his own. This year, we will celebrate our twenty-third anniversary. Only God could bring forth such beauty.


Our boys, despite the turmoil of their early years, have grown into men who love and serve Jesus with all their heart. Only God could bring forth such beauty.


Our sons married women who also love Jesus and plan to raise godly families. My prayer throughout the boys’ childhood was for the cycle of divorce to stop with my generation. Only God could bring forth such beauty.


God has allowed me to share His story of redeeming power with many people through women’s ministries and the teaching of His Word for twenty years. Only God could bring forth such beauty.


Don’t get me wrong. My life hasn’t been without its failings and struggles since that night in my duplex, but through it all, God has been, and continues to be, faithful beyond comprehension.


He alone holds the power to take a messed up life and make it beautiful from the inside out.


He has made everything beautiful in its time. Ecclesiastes 3:11 NIV


What beauty is God bringing forth today in your life as a result of difficult circumstances?


- Cathy Baker


Comment by M.J. of Punta Gorda, FL

I'm trying to think of something to say that can describe how I feel after reading this and all I can think of is WOW! This was beautiful! I hope you don't mind if I borrow your "Only God could bring forth such beauty". I love that. Thank you, Cathy, for sharing.

Posted May 05, 2013 at 06:47AM CDT
Comment by Cathy of Simpsonvile, SC

M.J., thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts. Feel free to share this post with whom ever God leads. If you're interested, I share similar things on my blog at http://www.cathybaker.org. I'd love for you to stop by sometime! God bless you. :)

Posted May 05, 2013 at 07:04AM CDT
Comment by Gary of Wilmore, KY

CATHY: Your own experience as it relates to Romans 7 & 8 helps me have a better understanding of this passage that has been difficult for many of us. We seem to agree with the compulsion to sin but we seldom have a sense of freedom you expressed. Your devotions help very much. Thank you

Posted May 05, 2013 at 07:09AM CDT
Comment by Cathy of Simpsonvile, SC

Thank you for your feedback Gary. To God be the glory!

Posted May 05, 2013 at 07:25AM CDT
Comment by Terry

Cathy, thank you so much for sharing your story and for your perseverance. After reading it, I wanted to get on my rooftop and scream hallelujah, sharing the story with everyone in earshot. God's first human institution of marriage has taken such a beating lately and we don't hear enough of stories like yours. Gail and I have been married for 33 years this year and it hasn't all been easy but we decided to take the high road and work at this marriage. We have four Godly kids (spread all over the world at present) and two grandchildren and we have seen some kingdom glory in Europe, China and throughout SE Asia that can only be described as remarkable - and we have done it all together. If you listen to XM 63, listen for a song called "Walking her home" - it will bring tears to your eyes and express how a Godly man views his life partner. Thanks again for sharing - You Go Girl!

Posted May 05, 2013 at 08:10AM CDT
Comment by Cathy of Simpsonvile, SC

Thank you so much for sharing, Terry. Your comment brought tears to my eyes and joy to my heart. I praise God for testimonies such as yours. Your story is an inspiration to me and I'm sure to everyone else who will read it. God bless you -- and thank you for taking the time to encourage me and many others.

Posted May 05, 2013 at 09:32AM CDT
Comment by A. E. of Burlington, WI

Wonderful posting for me to stumble upon today. I hear often "total surrender" and I have tried this myself many times. I've been asking God to take the cares and stresses but just can't seem to truly let go and trust. I end up trying to control everything again. Cathy, any thoughts or suggestions? Even when I start each day with a prayer of surrender, I still end of feeling at the end of the day that I've lost touch with The Lord and tried do everything on my own.

Posted May 06, 2013 at 06:14AM CDT
Comment by Kent of Powell, OH

Thank you for your devotional reading for yesterday, and your extended story here. I, like you, have been divorced several times and have struggled with leaving my past behind and moving forward. Your devotional reminded me of the need to place my life and hopes in God's hands, rather than try to manage everything on my own, which I have not been all that successful with! Great message! God bless you and your family.

Kent - Ohio

Posted May 06, 2013 at 09:00AM CDT
Comment by Sheri of Hewitt, TX

Thank you for your transparent life! What a story! What an encourager!
What a testimony! What an excellent writer!
May The Lord continue to bless your life w/the sharing of your life through stories just as this one has touched many lives for Christ.
In His Love
Sheri DeLoach

Posted June 06, 2013 at 06:08PM CDT
Comment by peredam of garden, CA

Thank you so much for sharing, Terry. Your comment brought tears to my eyes and joy to my heart. I praise God for testimonies such as yours. Your story is an inspiration to me and I'm sure to everyone else who will read it. God bless you -- and thank you for taking the time to encourage me and many others.




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Posted October 17, 2016 at 01:09AM CDT