FAITH FOR TODAY BY LAURETTA BALDERSTON
We recently attended an art show of beautiful paintings depicting something in each artist’s home, or life, that was meaningful to them. These were amateur artists taking a ten-week course, many of whom had never before painted anything.
The pictures on the canvases varied, from a mug given by a special friend and, when used only on special occasions, brought pleasant memories of the special friend to mind, to lovely china tea sets passed down from generations to generations. One lady chose to paint the old, almost forgotten, clock sitting on the mantel which had to be wound with a key every few days. The intricate carving on the wood around the clock had to have been made by a craftsman, an ancestor, who really loved his work and carefully carved that love into every detail.
One painting very simply showed a plain white vase, a pottery mug waiting for the tea bag and hot water and a ball of yarn with two knitting needles poking through it, untouched as yet and waiting for the aged hands to start a new project.
The instructor had asked each person to paint the story of the items chosen, showing, then writing, what each meant to them. The artists then shared their personal stories with a passion that made each painting vividly alive and meaningful to those of us in the audience.
Driving home my husband asked me what I would have painted had I been able to attend this particular course. What article in my possession had that extra special meaning to me, either from my past or my present, that I would want to capture it on canvas and share the story with others so they would understand how it had impacted me? I’m still pondering that one!
God is the master artist of all creation. He has written our story and He tells us how much we mean to Him in His Word. He has filled the canvas of our lives with life and beauty that bring Him alive to everyone we meet. But we sometimes take the brush out of God’s hand and try to change the picture, distorting the story so lovingly written. We make mistakes, go off on our own path and, like that old clock in the art show, He is forgotten as we forge ahead on our own path in life. Then one day, when we look at our circumstances and wonder how we ever ended up here, we realize He is still there – waiting for us to return, take His Hand and let Him complete the work begun in us when we let go of His hand and tried to make it on our own.
He tells us, “Even the hairs of your head are all numbered.” Matthew 10:30 (NIV) He knows us! He knows our needs!
We have experienced illness in our family these past months that have left us depleted of energy and challenged our thoughts many times on many days. But through it all, God has shared our tears, calmed our fears and given us hope that in all this He is in control! We have nothing to fear – the canvas has been filled and He is putting the finishing touches to the fabric of our life. It has, and continues to be, a painful lesson as we struggle to allow God to paint our story and make adjustments as He sees fit. We know beyond any doubt that He knows best and we have only to let go and let God! This is a daily surrendering for this strong-willed person who wants to always be in control, but with God’s help and assurance, I am learning.
Our life journey takes us on paths we would choose never to walk and the shadows may hide the light up ahead, but we can know that God is already in tomorrow and He knows just what we need to keep on keeping on. Let’s place our hand in His and allow Him to write the story of our lives so we will vividly reflect His light and truth to all we meet along the way! Then our life will mean something to God, to us and to those we have touched with our story! “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.” Hebrews 12:2a (NIV)
Lauretta Balderston is a contributor to Faith for Today.