The beauty of the Alps. The warmth of the sun. The comfort of a blue beach chair in the middle of it all. It doesn’t get more perfect than that, right? On a recent ski trip to Austria, God gifted me 45 life-changing minutes in that chair.
To be honest, it had been a rough morning leading up to that moment. We’re currently walking through a secondary infertility journey that’s been ongoing for almost four years. Earlier that morning, a single blue line on a pregnancy test revealed that this was not our month to be pregnant. Saddened and hurting, I still set out to ski and do my best to enjoy our vacation. We skied on a new mountain that morning and the slopes had less powder than the previous days, and between the conditions and an early equipment malfunction, I found my ski confidence surprisingly lacking. (Which is not the norm because I’m an experienced intermediate skier.) But I pressed on, determined to make the most of the day.
And then, on what was to be the last run of the morning, I wiped out (of course in a spot that was flat and super easy). But that wipe-out was my worst ever… I slid on my back for about twenty feet and with no way to stop, went over a ridge. Thankfully, I was feet first and the thick snow that I stumbled into stopped me about ten feet down the hill. I was skiing by myself at this point, but some friendly skiers stopped to check on me, as did a ski patrol guy driving by on a snow mobile, and they were able to easily help me back up to the run. This was the worst fall of my skiing career and praise God, I was not injured. But I was shaken. Very shaken.
I was able to make it to the bottom of the run and when I realized my husband and our friend would need a while to make it to where I was, I just sat in that blue chair. Crying. Shaken. Thankfully uninjured. Plagued with thoughts of “what could have happened” when I went over that ridge. The tears released emotions that had been pent up from the negative pregnancy test. To say I was overwhelmed is an understatement. But I knew I had to do something.
So I cast my gaze upon those gorgeous mountains. I let that warm sunshine soak deep into my bones. I sang the worship song that had been stuck in my head all morning (“Great Things” by Elevation Worship).
Whenever I am in the middle of the beauty and grandeur of God’s Creation, I can’t help but be in awe. I can’t help but thank Him for creating something so big, so majestic, so wonderful. Being surrounded by such beauty is both humbling and inspiring. I thanked God over and over for that beauty. I thanked Him for this moment that we got to share, especially after such a tough morning. And then, in His love and mercy, God whispered this word to my soul,
“This beauty is everywhere.
Yes, it is obvious here in the mountains.
But my beauty, my grandeur, my creative hand is everywhere.”
I thought about this more. Yes… yes… God’s beautiful hand can be seen everywhere! Even in the places that seem dull, that seem more “everyday”. I can see His beauty when I walk the streets of Frankfurt. I can see His beauty in my home, my family, my life. His hand is at work, even in places and situations that to, our eye, seem ugly, hard, and even tragic. There is beauty in each person’s life, no matter how broken it may be, because God made each of us, and He loves us, and He pursues each of our hearts.
He HAS done great things. The same God who painted His brush across this earth, creating beautiful mountain ranges, radiant sunsets, and shimmering oceans, is the same God’s whose brush has painted and is continuing to paint in my life. Even in the tough places, like the journey of infertility. He HAS done great things. And He CONTINUES to do great things.
But are we going to keep our gaze down, looking over the ridges of our lives, letting the re-runs of the falls and the hurts and the pain keep us down? Or are we going to look up and see the beauty around us? It’s there. God’s hand is at work. We just have to look for it… and then praise Him for it.
This, this word God spoke so sweetly to my soul in the Austrian Alps is changing my perspective and my gaze in my everyday life. We CAN have blue chair mountain moments everyday, no matter where we are. His beauty surrounds us. And He is still painting.
What beauty do you see surrounding your everyday today? Share it with us in the comments!