Ugly Becomes Beautiful Through God’s Lens

God's-Lens

As I glanced out the patio door, a beautiful butterfly fluttered down. My heart quickened, and I bent down and carefully peeked through the blinds.

What?! Are my eyes playing tricks on me? All I saw was a dead, colorless, rumpled leaf. But the picture of a butterfly is still vivid in my memory. Bright yellow with black veins running through it. Almost like a monarch, only yellow instead of orange.

It must be a special gift from God. Butterflies always remind me of His faithful love. He whispers, “Yes, My child, I am here. Always. I will take care of you.”

It’s a blessing when we can look through God’s special lens to see beauty in the ugly.

When we look at the pain and devastation in our lives through our own lens, we feel so fragile, crushed, and forsaken. We may feel like that shriveled up leaf. Tossed about. Dried up. Insignificant.

We will see differently when we put on God’s lens of love:

A dried up leaf becomes a dazzling butterfly.

Jesus and the sacrifice He has given for us becomes reality as our ugliness transforms into a lovely child of God, so precious in His sight.

His compassion soothes our hearts as we learn how perfectly He understands us and how He collects every single tear into His bottle.

The ashes of loss and broken dreams brush into place in the masterpiece the Divine Artist is painting.

We see God is still on the throne, and He works every single pain for our good and to His glory.

When we’re downhearted, depressed, and in despair, it’s hard to see that God really does love us and is always with us no matter what. But if we can surrender our lens of lies into His hands and reach out in faith to gaze through His lens, we see the truth that His love transforms us into beautiful butterflies. We see He is faithfully holding us together. We see His promise of a glorious future.

Then we can trust all the answers to our questions will surely come in His time and way. We can stop holding onto our own way and let ourselves be held in His grace-filled arms. Is it easy? No. But He promises to give us the strength we need to keep taking one step at a time.

“For God so [greatly] loved and dearly prized the world,
that He [even] gave His [One and] only begotten Son,
so that whoever believes and trusts in Him [as Savior]
shall not perish, but have eternal life.”
John 3:16 AMP

“You keep track of all my sorrows.
You have collected all my tears in Your bottle.
You have recorded each one in Your book.”
Psalm 56:8 NLT

“And we know that in all things God works
for the good of those who love Him,
who have been called according to His purpose.”
Romans 8:28 NIV

A Child's Trust “Just Be Held”
by Casting Crowns

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32 thoughts on “Ugly Becomes Beautiful Through God’s Lens

  1. Butterflies speak to me too, Trudy! They are transformed creatures, and God transforms us when we accept His unconditional love. I see that Casting Crowns song in many places lately, showing that our world needs to remember He’s got it, and is our hope.

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    1. That’s cool that butterflies speak to you, too, Lynn. 🙂 It is their transformation from a trapped-in cocoon to a beautiful butterfly that inspired the title “Freed To Fly.” Yes, He’s got it! Sometimes it’s hard to “feel” it, but He is faithful. May He transform us more and more into His image! Hugs!

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  2. Hi Trudy! I agree that God’s wondrous compassion makes us comforted, and through his eyes, our trials can become beautiful. I love the image of seeing a butterfly in an old leaf. Maybe that is exactly the way God wants us to be, to see the beauty of everything. I’m sure that’s how he sees it.
    As you said, it’s hard to see that beauty sometimes. Really hard. I think I have better vision in hindsight instead of right in the present…gotta work on that.

    Happy Tuesday!

    Ceil

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    1. Hi Ceil. I really need to work on that, too. To see more beauty in the present. I long to trust Him in present circumstances and see the beauty He will surely create from it all, but yes, it really is hard. So often I have to remind myself, “I don’t need to understand. I just need to hold His hand.” May we learn more and more to trust Him that He will make beauty out of the ashes of our troubles! Hugs!

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  3. Trudy, this is so timely for me as well. On Sunday morning, I watched as a small Clouded-Sulphur, freshly freed from his cocoon, unfurled his fragile new wings into a fluttering beauty! The whole process took over 2 hours as he warmed himself in the sun. I love your thought: ” we see the truth that His love transforms us into beautiful butterflies. We see He is faithfully holding us together. We see His promise of a glorious future.” Thank you for the words to keep the picture fresh in my mind now! Blessings and Hugs to you today!

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    1. I’m so glad you were encouraged, Bettie. You encourage me as well with your description of the butterfly freeing itself from the cocoon. That must have been an awesome experience. You have placed a fresh picture in my mind also of how God’s love transforms us. Thank you. May He free us from all that binds us and give us freedom to fly for Him! Blessings and hugs back to you!

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  4. I love the idea that though the situation is the same we can choose which lens to see it through- the lens of lies or the lens of God’s love. I love that he can work beauty even in ugly situations and it’s a good reminder to search for that and to trust that we will see it one day, even if we can’t see it now. I love the Casting Crowns song too.

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    1. I’m glad you were encouraged, Carly. “to trust that we will see it one day, even if we can’t see it now” That trust can be so difficult some days, can’t it? Especially when we can’t see any beauty right now. But as the song says, “There’s freedom in surrender” and “in time you’ll understand.” May we learn to just be held by our God who won’t let go! Hugs!

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  5. Such a beautiful post. Such truth here: “But if we can surrender our lens of lies into His hands and reach out in faith to gaze through His lens, we see the truth that His love transforms us into beautiful butterflies. We see He is faithfully holding us together. We see His promise of a glorious future.”

    This surrendering is a repeated necessity for me…as is the turning to His Word (His lens). When I forget either one…then I end up hanging out in despair or deep grief. Thankfully “He is faithfully holding us together”, even in those moments.

    Thank you for this encouragement to keep surrendering our lens for His.

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    1. Thank you, Anna. I’m blessed to know you were encouraged. The surrendering is a “repeated necessity” for me, too. It’ so easy to despair when we look through our lens, isn’t it? But even when we don’t “feel” Him, He is tenderly inviting us to look through His lens of love and grace. May we continually surrender our lens for His and see His faithfulness in holding us together! Hugs!

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  6. I’ve been feeling like that dried up leaf lately, my friend. Your words have come at the perfect time. Thank you, Trudy. This: “He promises to give us the strength we need to keep taking one step at a time.” Amen… I need to remember to take one step at a time and not stay so stressed about future events. He really does make all things beautiful :).

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    1. I’m so glad this gave you hope, Candace. I’m so sorry you have been feeling dried up lately. It’s so hard not to stress out about the future, isn’t it? Yes, one step at a time. We’ll have to keep helping each other to keep on stepping. And yes, He really does make all things beautiful. I’m writing to one of His beautiful butterflies right now. 🙂 May He help us to see ourselves through His eyes! Hugs!

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  7. Such a beautiful picture of His power to tranform – that He’s ever present and always near working in our lives. Praising our God who weaves goodness out of our dark places. Thanks for sharing, Trudy.

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    1. You’re welcome, Tiffany. I’m glad it helped you to see the beautiful picture of His power to transform and to be ever present in our lives. I love how you word it – “our God who weaves goodness out of our dark places.” It’s hard to see it sometimes when we’re in that dark place, but He is faithful. May we cling to His power to weave goodness out of dark places! Hugs!

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  8. Hi Trudy,
    Butterflies are such delicate beautiful creatures, aren’t they? I just love what you wrote about God bringing things to light or back to life in our lives in his own good and perfect timing. It is hard to wait when we’re ready to move on to something new, but it’s in those places that he gets to show himself faithful to us and we get to trust him. And I totally mean “get to” even though it seems the opposite sometimes when we feel like we “have to” wait for something new to spring up! xo

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    1. Oh yes, Valerie, it is sooo hard to wait. We want answers and clear direction now, but as you say, He shows Himself faithful. I really love your “get to.” I’m going to have to take that perspective instead of the “have to.” May He fill us with strength and courage to wait on Him and believe He will finish His work in His perfect timing! Hugs!

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  9. just asked the Lord for ears to hear His voice this am – and maybe i need to add “eyes to see” all He has for me this day. He is so wanting to pour out all that He is – thank you for this good reminder. near you at holley’s this am in CA

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    1. I’m so glad this encouraged you to ask the Lord to give you eyes to see, Sue. We need eyes to see His beauty and ears to hear His voice so badly, don’t we? What you write about Him “so wanting to pour out all that He is” really touches my heart. I will try to hold that truth to my heart. May He open our eyes to see His goodness, our ears to hear His voice, and our hearts to receive His truth! Hugs!

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  10. It’s always about that lens isn’t it? When we choose our perspective our vision is distorted but God’s lens is one of beauty and truth. This is such a good reminder for me to hold onto when I choose my ways over God’s ways. I really loved the verses you chose to share at the end. Each one speaks such beautiful truth. Blessings and hugs to you!

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    1. I’m so glad this and the beautiful truths in the verses encourage you to choose God’s ways over our ways, Mary. It’s hard to do though sometimes, isn’t it? May our hearts surrender to His ways and His beauty! Blessings and hugs to you, too!

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  11. Hi Trudi- Love this song and the verses are my favorite too! I have been seeing a lot of swallowtails around our house lately- They always remind me of our baby boy in heaven – There is something so special about butterflies and how God takes the ugly and makes it beautiful! Thank you for this beautiful reminder of the work God is doing in me too- xo 🙂

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    1. I’m so glad you found hope here, Susie. Your heart must ache yet for your baby boy. So is there a story behind it that swallowtails remind you of him in heaven? Yes! God surely is working in you to make all the ugly in your life beautiful! May we always remember His everlasting arms are beneath us holding us up through every trial! I hope you are feeling better! Hugs!

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  12. Totally beautiful truth and reassurance in this lovely post and deep soul rest in these words: “He promises to give us the strength we need to keep taking one step at a time.” As we allow ourselves to “stop holding on, just be held”, we see how God is already at work “painting beauty from the ashes” of our lives and granting us the freedom of butterflies.
    Trudy, I’ve read and listened and cried my way through your God-given words today, and those sung by Casting Crowns. Thank you, just thank you for revealing His light and love in such an encouraging way. You shine for Him, sweet friend. Blessings and hugs. Xox ❤

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    1. I’m so grateful you were reassured of God’s faithful and tender care and His power to paint beauty from ashes. It’s not always easy to focus on Him and His power to heal. Or on His longing to heal us. May He help us to let go and just be held by Him and to open our hearts to His freedom! Blessings and hugs to you, too, Joy!

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  13. This, “surrender our lens of lies” the enemy works overtime whispering in our ear, doesn’t he, Trudy? It’s so important to remain in the Word so that the Truth will be in our heart and mind blocking the enemies whispers. I love y our vision of the butterfly. I always think of you, and say a prayer, when I see them. Bless you , my friend.

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    1. June, you are so sweet to say a prayer for me when you see a butterfly! 🙂 I love your nature photos, especially the ones of butterflies and birds. Yes, the enemy certainly does work overtime whispering those lies, and it truly is important to remain in the Word. May we cling to Jesus as the Way, the Truth, and the Life! Hugs!

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    1. You’re welcome, Linda. It’s so encouraging, isn’t it? It’s not always easy to do, but He is calling us to let go and remember He is on the throne. His arms are wide open inviting us to be held. May we surrender all our fears and storms in our lives to Him and just allow Him to hold us! Hugs!

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