Reevaluate // Lent 2018 Week 1


I’ve experienced chronic pain over the last fourteen years in my back and stomach. It’s been a long and difficult journey and one I would not wish upon anyone. In particularly difficult seasons, I find comfort in taking walks on which I quiet my mind and listen for God to show up—to speak light into my darkness and truth into my despair.

Often He “speaks” through the very beauty of nature and growth of life all around.

On one particular walk I picked this flower that stood alone amidst the grass, snapped a photo as I admired it’s bright yellow color, only later to discover it is not actually a flower but rather a weed—a dandelion in particular.

Q: Is there something in your life that feels like a weed? Annoying and persistent? Something that keeps sprouting up? Some pain you wish you could rid yourself of or that God would take away?

I’ll be honest with you: my pain has looked like the ugliest of weeds at times in my life. And yet…


Looks can be deceiving.

As it turns out, looks can be deceiving—both in nature and in life. I got to thinking about the “weed” of physical pain in my own life. It has been quite annoying and persistent, beyond frustrating and even devastating at times.

I feel like I have lost so much because of it—so much time, so many experiences. I feel like so much has been taken from me because of it—so much life, so much joy.

And yet God has brought and continues to bring beauty from that very weed.

I couldn’t see it at first, but He is beginning to reveal it to me more and more. You see, my journey of pain has given me true empathy and compassion for others in pain and it has drawn me into deeper relationship with God than I ever would have been without it. And what beauty that is.

Q: What beauty can you see God bringing from the weeds in your own life?

While the object in the above photo may technically be a weed, it looks like a flower. And while we may have things in our lives that technically could be considered weeds, God can bring beauty from them all. He can make them look like flowers.

He longs to take our weeds and make them beautiful. The question is: will we let Him?


Beauty from weeds.

Scripture tells us that even what was meant for harm, God can use for good. This truth is revealed in Genesis through the story of Joseph after he is utterly betrayed by his brothers and graciously forgives them. It’s a beautiful redemption story.

And yet Joseph’s story is just a small reflection of the ultimate redemption Story God is writing.

This is the first of a six week study I will post in congruence with the six Mondays of Lent—from Ash Wednesday to Easter—when Jesus rises from the dead and makes possible the all-time greatest redemption Story. Because of that redemption Story, we can live our own redemption stories.

No matter what wrong has been done to us, no matter what pain we have endured, God can take our pain and use it for our good, to bless others, and to ultimately bring glory to Him.

Reevaluate the “weeds” in your life. Ask God where He might be working to bring beauty from your broken places. 

Would we each echo Joseph’s incredibly wise and strong words as we traverse the wilderness of Lent and the places of pain in our lives:

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” – Genesis 50:20

IMG_3997Would lives be saved because of our pain.
Would others be pointed to the God of redemption through the very ugliest of weeds in our lives.
Would we allow Him to take our wildest of weeds and grow from them boldest of beauties.

Join me next week as we dive deeper into this truth as we examine how God brings beauty from the most unexpected of places.

Until then: Memorize this Scripture. {Tip: save this graphic as the background of your phone and you’ll end up memorizing it by default!}

Genesis 50:20 background

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