Mallard duck. Image by Ralphs_Fotos from Pixabay

Among the most spectacular aspects of nature for me are its colours.

I’m continually wowed by the vivid colours found in nature, such as the brilliant red plumage of the Northern cardinal.

The cardinal’s red feathers, which come courtesy of pigments, look the same when viewed from any angle. But there’s another source of colour in nature that is even more mesmerizing:


With iridescence, the hue of something changes when seen from different angles. You’ve probably experienced this shimmery optical phenomenon yourself when looking at certain insects, butterflies, birds, or even soap bubbles.

A good example of iridescence is the head of the mallard, a common duck found in the northern hemisphere. Its head appears to be a bright emerald green at first, but if you shift your angle of observation, it can appear green-gold, blue, or indigo.

It all depends on your perspective.

Maybe there’s a little lesson here for us.

If we shift our perspective about our own situations, we can see beauty that we didn’t know was there.

Perhaps you’re going through a challenge right now, and can’t see what good could come of it.

Maybe your difficulties and trials don’t seem to have a purpose.

If you’re a believer, however, you’re assured that your suffering does have meaning. To see this, we need to shift to a heavenly perspective.

“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” (Romans 5:3-5)

Maybe you’re facing troubles at work, frustrations in raising a child, or conflict with a loved one. All you can see are the negatives of the situation.

But step to the side a little, and the view changes.

From this angle, you realize that the problems you’re facing are producing good things in you: patience, humility, and staying power. You’ll come out of this stronger and wiser than you were before.

As you understand this, the colour shifts to a brighter, more positive one.

Get a new perspective! Image by Henning Sørby from Pixabay

Or perhaps you’re suffering through an illness or injustice. It’s gone on so long that it’s wearing you down. All you see is darkness.

But viewed from a different angle, you realize that within your suffering there’s something else going on that was invisible to you before. You’re becoming more Christlike. Hebrews 5:8 says that Jesus, even though He was God’s Son, learned obedience through His suffering. So can we.

Again, a new colour shines through, as radiant as a precious gemstone.

So let’s keep an open mind to the idea that there may be another way of looking at our difficulties.

Sometimes our problems seem as though coloured with pigments. It feels like there’s only one way to view them: negatively.

But they may actually be iridescent.

A new perspective can show us something: that the way we face our troubles and grow from them has both earthly and eternal value.

“For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!”

2 Corinthians 4:17

© 2022 Lori J. Cartmell. All rights reserved.

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