What Colors Do You See?
What colors do you see? Look around while you walk to the mailbox, or as you drive to the grocery store. What hues do you see sidled next to each other? What tones shape the landscape that you live in?
Our family just got back from a trip to western America. For four thousand miles we drove through multiple states, visited three national parks, and (hopefully) made some memories our kids will tuck away for later.
Our voyage directed us through the cornfields of Indiana and Illinois, followed by the flat prairies of Iowa and Nebraska. I watched the horizon stretch upward as we travelled west. Plains became hills. Hills became foothills. Foothills became mountains.
Yet what hit me the most as we took on each new landscape were the colors around me. I was used to large fields of green in my home state of Indiana, but as I gazed out the window I saw a completely different scene. Outside a sea of greens played before me that I had never seen.
Deep forest-green plants blew with the wind next to pale yellow tufts of grass poking up by the roadside. Shades of mint reflected the sun in patches throughout the canvas. Colors mingled together in new ways. The type of plants, the color of the dirt, every small little change showed off a brand new palette for my eyes, different from the colors that filled my everyday.
I hadn’t expected the colors to hit me so strongly. My eyes fixed on the scene out my window, as if I’d never seen such beauty before. Everything looked different—like a series of paintings by Monet of the same subject, but different colors. Each one- its own masterpiece.
The green of my Indiana home is familiar and beautiful, but I hadn’t seen all the colors possible. I stared at this new painting in wonder—marveling at the unfamiliar. I watched the red-tinged asphalt road weave us through fields of yellow and sage, punctuated by the beige outcroppings of rock. There I wondered, what other colors have I missed? What other blends of pigment are brushed across this earth that I have yet to see? How many shades of green are there?
The more I think about the depth of the colors of the world around me, the more I marvel at the depth of the Lord. Even more than the colors of the spectrum, our Lord is magnificently beautiful. In fact, we can only see snippets of his glorious beauty. David writes that his greatness is “unsearchable” and that he longed to gaze at his beauties for a lifetime (Ps. 145:3, 27:4). Moses and the Israelites sang together: “Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?” (Ex. 15:11).
We see the great love, goodness, faithfulness, and many other attributes of the Lord each day, yet each different landscape of our lives reveals a new shade of each of these.
This happens throughout our whole life. As a child we might learn his fatherly love, but later as a parent the color of this love takes on a deeper, more vibrant hue. We learn of God’s goodness, and as our landscape changes we see it accented in a whole new way by the royal shade of his sovereignty, or the deep shade of his faithfulness. The whole scene is different. The Bible verses we read as a new believer only grow richer and more colored as we continue to read them each passing year.
Sometimes the new colors come through the pain of great trials. Sometimes they come through joyful blessings that change our perspective. Sometimes it’s merely the passage of time and years of patient change by the Holy Spirit.
New colors, new angles, and new surprises will continue to pop up as we live, study, and seek after the Lord. Slowly, He works in us—renewing our minds by the Holy Spirit, and growing us in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior (Rom. 12:2, 2 Pet. 3:18). He shows us his majesty one color at a time.
What colors do you see around you today? What tones shape the landscape the Lord is walking through with you? Do you find yourself gazing more deeply at his beautiful shade of comfort? Have you been transfixed by the way his faithfulness and forgiveness mesh together? Or perhaps you are just sitting in awe at the blending of his mercy with his holiness?
There is a world of beauty around each of us. Yet nothing is more incredible than the chance to see the beautiful shades of our Lord.
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