Beauty in Hard Times

 

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: “Suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.” Romans 5:3-4 (NIV)I went to China on a mission’s trip. When my team and I arrived in Beijing, I looked out from the airport windows at the city, a landscape covered in

I went to China on a mission’s trip. When my team and I arrived in Beijing, I looked out from the airport windows at the city, a landscape covered in mist like a dirty sheet of smoke.

“That’s the smog,” Ray, our team leader, informed me. As we walked outside and took a shuttle to another terminal, he talked about how he and his wife had visited Beijing in 2008 and the smog had been so bad his wife had coughing fits.

As we rode the shuttle, this ugly smoke screen covered everything; somehow the driver navigated even though he could only see about two buildings ahead of him. Every few minutes I would see someone walking down the street wearing a surgical mask to keep from breathing in smog-borne pollutants.

Then one of my teammates pointed through the window and we looked to see a bright orb hanging in the sky, a beautiful shade of red that stood out against the grayish yellow fog.

“One thing I will say for smog, though,” Ray said as we looked at the red globe. “It makes for beautiful sunrises.”

PRAYER: Lord, in my difficult times when life seems hopeless, help me to see how you work good things out of evil circumstances. Amen.

(This devotional first published by  The Aboite Independent on June 12, 2016. Cover image copyright belongs to Gabriel Connor Salter.)

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