It was a chaotic puzzle -- not unlike life. Crazy colors with a cacophony of miscellaneous items. I had a clutch of pieces in my hot little mitt but try as I might, I couldn't get them to fit together. They were the same deep purple with the same golden scroll design interrupted by strange orange accents. But not two pieces could I get together.
So, I went looking for more. And I looked and looked. Having failed in my quest for more pieces to make the ones I already had work, I studied those same few pieces again. To my amazement, two snapped together and then a third until they all came together to form an orange toy train on a classic purple and gold carpet.
I had all the pieces and didn't realize how they went together.
Praise God -- He doesn't have this problem. In the lives of His children He knows exactly what pieces they have and how they fit together for good. He isn't guessing when He pulls in more pieces or discards them. When He rotates and adjusts, He knows right where those pieces go. Trust Him. (I couldn't even get the puzzle right.)
Trust in Him at all times, you people;
Pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us. Selah.
That is how I want to spend my time -- painting people. Not literally, like makeup or tattoo artists, but I desire those brushstrokes to be very tangible none the less.
It is time for me to recognize that my words are painting others, just like the words left unsaid. My actions are creating change in others and maybe the bolder colors are those things I decline to engage in. Each choice, each attitude, and each habit are all putting paint to canvas. It is permanent. What an awesome privilege to work with God on His immortal art pieces!
Friendship. Discipleship. Mentoring. Parenting. They are all painting. So no matter where you paint, paint what matters and paint well because in heaven we will get to see all the strokes.
The pumpkin I carved lasted less than a week before it molded and this led me to an enlightened conclusion as I painted a different pumpkin. Even if this pumpkin makes it 2-3 times what the other pumpkin did, that is still too short a time to invest much time or energy. And I thought, "This is why I only paint on things that last." I honestly was thinking about canvases, wood and stone.
That is when I realized: They don't really last either. They may last many generations but eventually they decay. Be there are things that last forever. Only God and His kingdom (i.e. people). How sad to spend a lifetime "painting" what is passing away when the opportunity exists to paint what endures: the souls of people.
A few people you will get to "paint" for a lifetime. You will get to complete a masterpiece made of love, sacrifice, counsel, instruction, and discipleship. Some of these relationship will also include the brushstrokes of correction, direction and so on. Others you will only get to sketch the bare design or paint a background of encouragement, compassion, and kindness. For most people, you will have only a very limited widow of opportunity to add a few details. But it is worth it, because those lives last for eternity. And your investment also endures forever.
“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.” -- John 10:27
My dog has a peccadillo – she dances when she is happy. Since we have a tile floor, when Duchess does her “doggy dancing” her nails click on the floor. It is so cute :0)
This morning Duchess was downstairs. I was upstairs. I was in the middle of a sentence when I hear a frenetic clicking floating up the stairs. Duchess heard my voice and she was dancing because she was so excited. Her ears are tuned to my voice. No matter what she is doing she perks up. (As long as she is not sleeping and the wind is blowing the right direction because she is getting elderly.) She is always happy to hear me (especially when I have food in my hands). But sometimes she pretends she doesn’t understand me (she is just a dog after all :0).
But since dogs where little better than rodents in Jesus’ day I guess He couldn’t very well have said, “My dogs hear My voice.” If He could have though – maybe He would have. Because I can only pray to love His voice the way Duchess loves to hear mine and ask to be as attuned to His voice the way she is to mine.
Ps. Keep your eyes and ears open for what God is teaching you through His creation. Creation is always speaking.
No matter who gets to sit on the bench. No matter who gets to vote in the legislature. No matter who gets to live in the White House. God still gets to have control.
Praise God! I can be confident in the future because I have confidence in the Almighty.
Hallelujah to the Savior! I can have peace with the past because I have peace with God through Christ.
Thank you Jesus! I can have purpose in the present because I find my purpose in the presence of God on High.
Glory to God! I can be joyful in the mundane because the joy of the Lord is my strength.
Great is the Lord! I can have serenity in calamity because He is King of kings and Lord of lords.
And You reign forever! I can choose contentment in the extraordinary because You Author my life and it’s adventures!
“Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!” -- Revelation 19:6
Come with me as we grow in fellowship with each other and our Savior to whom belongs the Amazing Escape from sin and death and the Amazing Journey into glorious life.