What goes through your head when you hear the word radiant? I immediately jump to either "astonishingly beautiful" or "sunburned".
Sunburn aside, though, if someone came up to me and asked if I'd like to be radiant, I'd say yes.
We're talking about beauty for a little bit. I think the Dove Commercial I started with is probably one of the best commercials I've seen on airbrushing and exactly what that means. And, I think it's a great intro to discussing beauty. Why? Because I hope it inspired you.
I hope it inspired you to look in the mirror.
I'm a girl and I have this problem the same as almost any girl out there - I look in the mirror and I see Angelina Jolie next to me. I see Megan Fox, I see Jennifer Aniston, I see every CoverGirl model out there, all right there next to me.
And here's the thing: I don't have Angelina's infamous lips. I don't have Megan's killer body. I don't have Jennifer's gorgeous California complexion or the CoverGirl smile.
It's so, so, so easy to stand there and compare.
And it's so, so, so easy to decide I'm not beautiful because I'm not those girls. I'll never have those lips, that body, the complexion or the perfect smile. Do you ever deal with these thoughts?
I look in the mirror and I wish I were beautiful.
"They looked to Him and were radiant," it says in Psalm 34.
Not pretty - that's too tame. Not beautiful, not lovely, not gorgeous - even those are weak compared to it.
They looked to Him and were radiant. It reminds me of the passage in Exodus 34 where Moses' face shone after talking with the Lord. It shone so brightly, the Israelites asked him to put a cover over his face.
He was reflectively radiant.
I don't want to look in the mirror and see the latest CoverGirl. I don't want to wake up in the morning, trudge to the bathroom and see a perfectly airbrushed Megan Fox next to me. I don't want to glance up as I'm washing my hands and notice that I'm not as beautiful as Jennifer Aniston.
My self-worth is tied so tightly to my appearance. When I look in the mirror and I see me, just me, with all my comparative flaws, I feel deflated. I feel unattractive. I feel worthless.
Oh, how easily I forget! My too-thin lips? They were formed by hands that shaped the universe. The shape of my body? It was sketched by the Artist who traces the sunsets. The freckles on my face and the reddish tint to my skin? It was dotted and blended by the One who carved out the waterfalls and formed the mountains.
And my Heavenly Father? He is radiant.
So go ahead. Look in the mirror. Look in the mirror and notice. Those close-set eyes? Placed exactly there - right there - by the Creator of the planets. Your hips? Sculpted by the Artist who wrote the pathways for the oceans. Your not-so-small nose? Crafted by the One who knows you inside and out.
Jesus said that God dresses the lilies of the field in all their splendor. He used it to emphasize that we shouldn't worry about clothes. But also remember that those lilies have splendor - and if God takes the care to create each one of those perfect flowers that are here today and gone next week, imagine how much time, care and love He used to craft you. Your eyes. Your face. Your skin. Your body. Each individualized particle of your being. Crafted.