Recently a friend of mine and I went painting at a local establishment where an artist teaches a class of about a dozen or more people how to paint a certain piece. The lead painter assumes all students are novices and goes step by step through the process starting with a white canvas. The nearly 2 hour class flew by, and at many points during the process my friend and I wondered if this masterpiece would look anything like the promised finished product we were told it would resemble. We wondered if our color blends would mesh well together and actually look like the beach landscape we were supposed to be painting. We wondered if at the end we would be upset at ourselves for wasting time on this project and go home with an ugly piece of art that looked like nothing.
[Pictured are the actual images of the painting's journey to the finish line]
As we had this conversation and laughed out loud, we soon realized how much this mirrored life’s journey. How we look in the proverbial mirror of our lives and doubt that the current season would amount to much. How we get discouraged in the seasons with not much visible traction, and convince ourselves out of God’s promises. In our shortsightedness we forget that the master painter, the creator of the universe and of our frame has not forgotten us. And in that temporary place of blurred vision, instead of grabbing the trusting hands of our heavenly Father to lead us safely on our path, we often stop believing that the potter always did have a perfect plan for his clay pots[us]. As the Lord addressed Israel in Jeremiah 18:6, so are we reminded today - “...like the clay in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand”
Here are some truths to remember:
As you heed His voice, whether through reading the Bible or through meditative prayer, He will guide you. “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.” Isaiah 32:8
Your heavenly Father has not forgotten you, nor the journey He has you on! “Can a woman forget her nursing child, that she should have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may be forgotten, yet I will not forget you.” Isaiah 49:15
Even when the canvas that is your journey looks nothing like the picture-perfect vision you were believing for, do not give up! Keep painting every single stroke, knowing that every stroke is contributing to the final masterpiece. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
God’s leadership over your life is not seasonal. He never takes a break nor is he ever caught off guard by missteps along your journey. Take comfort in knowing that “He is our God forever and ever, and he will guide us until we die.” Psalm 48:14b
Until we die.
Until the wheels fall off.
He is committed; fully committed to getting your life’s canvas to masterpiece status.
May I never forget this.
May we never forget this.
So friends, shall we together decide to linger with the Lord and cling to His loving and dependable hands as he leads us?
One thing is for sure, “All that he does is beautiful in its time” Ecclesiastes 3:11. And we will not be the exception.
As you see in the finished painting[see below!], the ending far exceeded what you would imagine looking at those first few pictures and it certainly was beyond my expectation and my perceived skill level. Each time I now gaze at this painting in my home, I am reminded that my journey with God is worth every push through uncertainty and doubt.