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Covering a Lot of Ugly

As I look out of my office window, I can’t help but feel a little depressed. Currently it is foggy, and the temperature is rising. That I do not mind, except all of the snow is melting, and the lot across the street is beginning to become a giant mud pit. Just last week, with all of the snow we received in northwest Missouri, everything looked beautiful. I love the way an open yard looks after a good snow, before anyone has been able to touch it. It is smooth, pure, and clean. But the truth is that it hides what is underneath. Hides, that is, until warmer weather comes and reveals what is truly there. And as it melts, the ground softens. White turns to brown as the mud becomes evident, and it no longer looks beautiful. It looks like a mess. It looks like something I want to avoid. To put it bluntly, it looks ugly.

Snow covers a lot of ugly. That is not an original phrase. A pastor I know is the first person I can attribute it to. He says we may not like the snow, we may not enjoy the snow, but it sure does cover a lot of ugly. Even the messiest and unkept of yards can look like a masterpiece painting by the covering of snow. He would use that description to describe Jesus Christ in our lives. And the truth is, the blood of Christ does cover a lot of ugly. It covers the most ugly thing in existence today. His blood covers our sins if we have placed our faith in Him.

It got me thinking…

As I sat here looking at the snow melting, and the brown mud seeping it’s way to the surface, it reminded me of what happens when I lose focus of who Christ is and who I am in Him. We live in a culture of self satisfaction, self reflection, and focusing solely on ourselves. Don’t mishear me, it is important to take care of our bodies and our mental health. But often I believe we only focus on self and lose sight of Christ. When we do that, the snow begins to melt, and the mud begins to seep to the surface. 

What if self care looked less like focusing on self, and instead, turning our gaze to Jesus? When is the last time you stopped in the middle of a hard day, and simply turned your attention to who Jesus is, and what He has done for you, and the beauty therein?  I am convinced that when I focus on me, all I see is the ugly. I see the sins I struggle with. I see the failures of my efforts. I see how far I truly have fallen and how far I still need to go, and realize that I can never make it there on my own. 

But when I focus on Jesus, I see beauty. I see a friend who is closer than a brother. I see a man who thought that I was worth going to the cross and dying for. I find my identity. I sense my purpose, which is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. He hears me. He weeps with me. He walks with me. He carries me. And He covers the ugly of my life. 

In the days to come, I want to encourage you to take your gaze off of yourself and turn it to Jesus. The world may try to tell you how wonderful you are, but God’s Word tells us how beautiful Jesus Christ is, and that we are His. This is where our identity and purpose are found. This is where we find our self worth. You are loved by the creator of the universe. You are desired by the God who holds all things together. And He wants to spend eternity with you. Focus on Him, and let Him cover the ugly, the sin, in your life. Then walk with Him. 

“Come, let’s settle this,”

says the Lord.

“Though your sins are scarlet,

they will be as white as snow;

though they are crimson red,

they will be like wool.

Isaiah 1:18


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