Leave your beauty mark

Promise

the promise is worth the rain

Yesterday, it rained. All day.

My husband and I made use of the rainy weather by staying inside and cleaning up our home. Later in the day, I faced the rain and went out to Starbucks for some quiet time and reading. (By the way, I tried a pumpkin chai tea latte as suggested by the barista and it was delicious!) I decided not to take my laptop, which I usually never go to Starbucks without, and simply brought my bible and favorite book: Beauty Will Save the World by Brian Zahnd. In chapter 2, “The Greatest Wonder of All,” he shares a glorious moment he had atop a mountain. As he took a moment to breathe and bask in the beauty that surrounded him, a deer came alongside him and his antlers formed a perfect frame to the sunset. It was a moment of glorious wonder that he said he will never forget.

As I read the story, I could only image how beautiful that sight must have been. My imagination ran wild as I tried to place myself in his viewpoint, visualizing a mountaintop sunset framed by brown antlers. What a sight that must have been. After I finished reading, I headed home and noticed that there was a festival going on in my city. A large ferris wheel was going round and round and the tents covered the street to keep the goods dry. Amidst the rain, the contrast of flashing lights from the fair rides was an interesting contrast to behold. Is this my “wonder moment”? I thought. I parked alongside the festival gate and snapped a few photos of the scene with my iPhone. I used various filters on Instagram to enhance the shots, but didn’t care for the mood that was captured.

I continued home and prepared to go out again to the grocery store with my family. After about an hour and lots of team work, my husband and I completed our shopping trip and headed outside. As we looked into the sky, we were captivated by the most beautiful, bright, full rainbow we had ever seen. We gasped as we beheld this unexpected display of glorious wonder amidst an ordinary Sunday afternoon. Customers all throughout the parking lot were taking photos and gazing into the sky, grocery carts pushed aside as the priorities of the evening were delayed in this moment of divine beauty. THIS was my wonder moment.

As I beheld the rainbow, this thought entered my heart:

The promise is worth the rain.

Every rain drop that fell from the sky throughout the day was worth the display of the magnificent rainbow. I want you to know that the rain in your life will be worth the rainbow that’s coming. Although storms seem to last forever, and there seems to be no end in sight, there is a promise on the other side of your storm.

Hebrews 6:13-14 tells us that God gave Abraham a promise and swore by Himself, because there was nothing higher to swear by, saying, “Surely blessing I will bless you and multiplying I will multiply you.” Psalm 12:6-7 tells us that the words of the Lord are pure, like silver tried in a furnace purified seven times and that He will keep His words and preserve them forever. We all have received promises from God, spoken directly to our hearts and found within His word. God is not a man that He should lie, and He’s not toying with our emotions. If He said He'll do it, He will do it! The question is, are we willing to wait? There’s that gap of time between when God spoke and when the promise manifests when we must trust God and not allow impatience and murmuring delay the process. Hebrews 6:15 tells us that after Abraham patiently endured he received the promise.

In Psalm 27, titled An Exuberant Declaration of Faith, David proclaims,

I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord! (vs. 16-17).

My encouragement to you (and myself) today is not to lose heart! Don’t try to make a “wonder moment” happen by creating your own promise in a time of impatience, as I did with the ferris wheel photo. God is bringing your promise in His timing. A promise that will be worth every teardrop of rain we’ve cried and every loud roaring storm that we’ve endured. In the meantime, our job is to stand firm by faith, patiently endure and wait for God. The promise is coming. The rainbow is worth the rain.

Emonne Markland

Leave Your Beauty Mark

Kingdom Model

FNO Galleria 2012

While attending Fashion's Night Out at the Galleria mall in Dallas, my friends and I gathered together along the runway and eagerly anticipated a fall fashion show showcasing the latest trends. As the show began, we gazed carefully at each model's attire from head to toe and pointed out those which we liked the most. We quickly snapped photos and continued our observations of each model's representation of their designer brand. The show was fun to watch, and the models did a great job, but as I headed home I couldn't help but ask myself this question:

After the hair comes down, the makeup is wiped away and the clothes are hung back in the closet, what remains?

As a culture, it's safe to say that we put a strong emphasis on outer appearance. While there's nothing wrong with enjoying fashion and style, which I do very much, we must remember that our identity is not based on what or "who" we wear. We must find our greatest joy in things that are unseen and our identity in Christ alone.

If you're anything like me, you can relate to a time when you bought an item that seemed irresistible in the store. You just had to have it. And yet, once you bought it and tried it on again at home, it didn't have the same affect. Away from the bright lights and thumping music in the shopping store, it just wasn't...well...worth it.

That's what it's like in life. We have to be careful of "believing the hype" and getting caught up in things that don't matter. We've got to keep first things first and focus our attention on the eternal rather than the temporal. Our goal should be to dress well outwardly and inwardly alike.

Did you know that as believers we are God's kingdom models? Our assignment from our Designer is to represent His "brand" in the earth and model His lifestyle. God has called us to wear His custom-made "labels" and display His kingdom to others. To model His love and joy on the catwalk of life. To model His peace and wear our blessings well. Colossians 3:10, 12-14 in The Message translation says it like this:

Now you’re dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom-made by the Creator, with his label on it. So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It’s your basic, all-purpose garment. Never be without it.

When we wear the wardrobe that God has picked out for us, we will always look our best. His love and kindness will never fade or go out of style. So, if you're wondering what the fall-must have items are for this season, these are our Designer's top picks! Let's confidently and boldly model His way of living. His wardrobe will never grow old...and there's nothing more beautiful and flattering to wear than that.

Emonne Markland Leave Your Beauty Mark