This past week, my husband and I had the opportunity to travel with a few friends to attend a convention in Ohio. We saw friends there that we haven’t seen since we were kids in college. It was strange to see people who I’ve frozen in time, mentally keeping them in their twenties when actually many are three decades beyond that! I’m sure some of them had a hard time recognizing me as well. I’ve reached the age where skin creams no longer phase my wrinkles and hair keeps sprouting in the most unusual places.
Although my age is showing, my desire is for more than a fresh young face, I want a beauty that can’t be bought.
Do you want beauty that is lasting?
In Fierce Women: the Power of a Soft Warrior, I include a list of the characteristics of a beautifully fierce woman. Yesterday we looked at the first one:
* Her identity and value are rooted in her relationship with Christ rather than a relationship with a man.
The second characteristic really flows from that:
*She’s filled with gratitude for God’s good gifts. Her heart is ruled by the peace of contentment.
Contentment flows from a heart that’s settled the three most important issues of life:
- God is God.
He is sovereign and working all things out according to His plan.
[box]In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. (Ephesians 1:11–12)[/box]
- God is good.
I can trust His provision, His plans and His personal work in my life because He is trustworthy.
[box]But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2:4–7)[/box]
- God is worthy of all my worship.
He is my greatest treasure. He is where my heart is; all my deepest longings are fulfilled in Him. He is my complete sufficiency and Who I most value.
[box]Oh sing to the Lord a new song; sing to the Lord, all the earth!
Sing to the Lord, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day.
Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!
For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods. For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the Lord made the heavens.
Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.
Ascribe to the Lord, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength! Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts!
Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth! (Psalm 96)[/box]
When I sink deeply into those truths, I can be at rest and content with what He allows. I can cease striving. I can stop trying to control people and circumstances. I can stop manipulating and pressuring. I can find joy in the daily moments of my life, knowing each one is a gift from the Father and worthy of my gratitude.
I can rest in my love relationship with Him.
That kind of contentment produces a beauty that is timeless.
Excerpt from Fierce Women: The Power of a Soft Warrior Moody Publishers © 2012 by Kimberly Wagner
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