Imagine a large white blank canvass on a wood easel. As you look into the artist’s room, you can see different paint brushes and different types of paint. There are oils, watercolors, pastels, and all sorts of tools. The artist is sitting toward the white canvass, and has a sketch book in their hand. They are sketching a rough draft idea before they begin the painting. As you turn your head, you can see part of the rough draft, but you cannot see the full picture. It is a little frustrating. You want to see the whole picture because you are curious, but the artist is standing in the way of your full view.
When I think about a person’s story, I think about this large blank canvass. When we are young, the brush strokes have yet to be added. The canvass is clean and without spots. There are no mistakes, just room for curiosity and growth. Over time the artist of our life adds colors and splashes to our painting. Situations and circumstances come our way. There are times the colors are dark and gray, and other times when they are bright and yellow. In all these times and seasons, God is with us. The artist uses different tools to define the paint and make bold edges in our life. We are made stronger as the paint grows more and more. There are days when it feels like the artist is painting for hours on end, and then there are days when the artist only paints a small portion of the picture. The painting longs to be finished for all to view, but the artist has not completed their work. The painting may grumble and say things like, why did you put that stroke there, and I do not like that green color over there. The artist might say, “But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, ‘Why have you made me like this?’ (Romans 9:20). It is a story between an artist and the art. It is a narrative which is birthed with time and relationship. Sure there will be times of doubts, uncertainties, and questions. But, the artist has never left the art. The art has always been in the hands of the artist. The artist has always taken care of their masterpiece.
Philippians 1:6 says, “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” You see, when the artist begins a painting there is an intention to finish this work of art. It may take longer than expected, but the artist and God we serve is one who does not quit, give up on us, or lose interest. We serve Jesus Christ who endured the cross, and became the author and the finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). We serve the mighty God. We serve the awesome God. We serve the One who is able to make our impossible possible. What is it you need today? Why have you questioned the artist? Why are you discouraged?
The picture will become clear, but we are not promised all the answers. God is the artist, and we are the work of art. We must learn to trust and be patient. As we wait for the great day of the Lord, when God will return again for the Church, we must keep our hearts right. We must trust God to paint our story. God may open or close a door. The stroke of paint may seem to be out of place or uneven, but let God finish the work.
One day, as you walk into the room you will see the full picture. The colors will go together. The art will capture your eye and attention. The light from the big window in the room will illuminate the small details of the painting. It will be beautiful. It will be wonderful. As you look, the artist will be there with you celebrating the finished work. All because, we serve a God who is faithfully painting our story!
Copyright 2014 Crystal Schmalz