True Beauty

“The greatest treasures are those invisible to the eye but found by the heart.” Unknown

Women are so beautiful. We were created soft and delicate, yet immeasurable strength lies within each woman. We love to feel pretty, to look pretty…and we are, for we are the apple of our Lord’s eye. Did you know that? You are the apple of his eye.

As woman, we spend money on our beauty. We all have some sort of beauty regimen we go through to prepare ourselves for the outside world. We buy cosmetics to paint our faces and highlight our strong features. We purchase bath soaps and gels to make us smell good. Please don’t forget the hair products, to get each hair in just the right place. Some of us wear a lot of make up, some of us little. This makes us unique and special, a true reflection on the exterior of who we perceive ourselves to be on the interior. All of these things are so fun and wonderful, but don’t you know that the truest of beauty comes from within?

For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7

This is why I want to take a quick look at Esther and draw an example or two from her life.

Now, if you don’t know the story, Esther was a common Jewish girl who lived in the Persian Empire. Xerxes was king and had summoned his wife, Vashti, to come to him. Vashti failed to submit to her husband’s wishes, refusing to come to his court. Xerxes thereby banished Vashti, declaring she was queen no more. Wow, that sounds harsh doesn’t it? But this is not the focus of my story. This is where Esther enters the scene. The king pronounces the need for a new queen. All the young women of the land were gathered to be prepared to meet the king and have the opportunity to be chosen as the new queen. Before meeting the king, each girl had to complete twelve months of beauty treatments. (Esther 2:12) It was time, her time, to go present herself before the king. I wonder what she was thinking? She was probably frightened. After all, this was the king of an Empire! I would have to imagine she felt a little self conscious and insecure. She was being ushered into a room to be looked over for her physical appearance. That sure could make a girl feel inadequate. I cannot imagine what that would feel like. The closest glimpse we have today is the continual bombardment of the media, placing pressure on women to feel they have to look a certain way, dress a certain way, be a certain dress size in order to be beautiful or accepted. Rubbish!

Now the king was attracted to Esther more than to any of the other women, and she won his favor…” Esther 2: 17

This is where the story truly gets exciting to me! Esther was a mere “nobody” by the standards of the Empire. Esther was chosen by the king as most beautiful of all the women. This, my friends, is how a God of all Creation…the King of all kings looks upon you. It’s true! This idea may take some time getting used to. I know it did for me.

I grew up in a home with a very tall standard of excellence. I am so grateful for this, for it truly taught me what excellence looks like and it set the bar high for my expectations of myself. However, this is the perspective of the Nicole who has been through the “beauty treatment” of the Lord. My whole life I felt, “invisible”. Yep, you heard me, I felt invisible. I was very shy growing up and not very outspoken. That alone could make someone seem invisible! I tend to have a perfectionist mindset, so instead of learning to try and accept failures as a growing process, I would be too afraid to try and so I became apathetic under the assumption that sounded a bit like this…”You’re just Nicole. You can’t do it perfect, so don’t bother doing it at all. You are not enough.” I really had subconscious thoughts like that! Sad, I know. But I think everyone has negative thoughts float through their head about their shortcomings, real or perceived. Thoughts that are deleterious to our self worth. Fortunately, I serve an amazing God who brought all of this to my attention while in my early twenties. He took me through some “beauty treatments". He lavished me with loving soap that cleansed my self perception and then cloaked me in a covering of His perspective. He spoke words of affirmation and affection over me and healed this brokenness of feeling invisible that lingered in my heart. Beautiful. He made me beautiful, just like Esther, just like YOU.

The King of all heaven looks down on you from his throne. He climbs off of his throne to come to you, to adore you, to look into your eyes and call you, “Beloved, come to me, I chose YOU and I want to make you queen of my heart. All you need to do is let me inside of yours.” He takes the old self out…the Vashti inside all of us, and replaces it with Himself…Pure, Perfect, True. Our beauty treatments change us and make us more like Him. He enables us to see ourselves with unveiled faces in His image and humility. Truest beauty comes to life. It was there all along!

You are beautiful in so many ways. Allow the God who cares, care for you today. Give him all the things that make you feel badly inside and allow him to display you, like a fine piece of art, for Him to adore. You are beautiful. You are beautiful. I love you…Nicole