It was my pleasure to recently join Melinda Schmidt on Bring to Mind. We talked about the subject of beauty and how it relates to God and life. An example of this is my struggle with loneliness. While I was recently married, I have spoken often to my church and others about my struggles with loneliness through years of singleness (not that those two always go together, they just seem to for me). There is a palatable ache within that can wash over you like waves of despair. I could analyze it. I could philosophize about it. I could even teach on it. But I could not overcome it. Then I began to look at the pain from the perspective of beauty and to consider why I felt the way I did. I came to discover that loneliness was not an enemy but a friend. It is a painful reminder that I was not made for myself. I was made for Him, and the pain is God’s way of saying, “Here I am!”
When I feel lonely, I am feeling theology inside. All the pleasures, desires, and loves in this world will not take that pain away. We desperately want someone to love us perfectly. But when we wake up to the fact that no relationship can fully satisfy, we realize that we are lonely for God. When we feel that pain of loneliness, we instinctively try to fill that void with created reflections of God. These are mere shadows. Physical beauty is a shadow. Food is a shadow. The security of money is a shadow. Health is a shadow. Family is a shadow. We long for a relationship with someone greater than us, and we settle for cheap substitutes—race-car drivers and football players and movie stars admired from afar. But the real desirability is found in Christ. God made every created beauty in this world as an expression of Christ’s beauty and the beauty of the Father’s love for the Son. All beauty is a breadcrumb path that can and should lead us to Him.
Steve DeWitt has served as senior pastor of Bethel Church in Crown Point, Indiana for 12 years. Steve’s passions include expository preaching, the doctrines of grace, helping the church engage its culture, and the beauty of God. To learn more about Steve, please visit his website.