Monday, January 23, 2012

"A Smudge of Paint"

          When I was a little girl, my family and I would sometimes go out to a special restaurant together.  Located on one outside wall of the building was a painting.  If you stood right beside the wall and looked at the painting from that angle you may assume that only a person who was intoxicated could possibly have been the artist.   Strange smudges of paint were everywhere with apparently no order and no clear lines to define any sort of an image.  The wall was a mess.  However, if you walked a distance away from the wall until the whole image was in view, you would then discover that the wall was not a mess but was a breathtaking painting of a peaceful little cottage on a beautiful spring day.  In the same way, God is the artist and is painting a picture that makes up each of our lives.  From our point of view, standing next to the wall, we may think that God is making a horrible mistake as we watch Him paint. Smudges may appear on the wall and nothing is clearly defined.  It looks like a horrible mess.  But we cannot see it from His perspective.  We cannot see the whole painting.
Image Courtesy
God uses circumstances and events in our lives to shape us and form us.  If our lives were perfect with no trials, there would be no need for a God at all!  We could simply live our lives and never feel the need of a Savior.  The reality is that it is our choice whether we let the difficult things that happen in our lives tear us down or help us to fly.  It’s our choice to let ourselves become depressed, bitter, or angry at the world and at God or to learn something from each experience and let it develop characters that are strong and pleasing to Him.  I know that I would not be the person I am today if I had not gone through many of the trials that have come into my own path.  Many times when I wanted to shout at God, “Why did you paint a black smudge there on my wall?!” or “Why would you let this happen to me?!” I instead have learned to ask, “Lord, what is it that you would have me learn from this situation?  Please use this trial to create in me a character that is pleasing to you.”  I am not a perfect person by any means and I certainly don‘t do it right every time, but I have been learning to find something in every situation to learn from.  I have found in doing so that it not only builds character,  but it also helps me to learn to let God be in control and to trust Him with every area of my life.  I know that I cannot see the whole painting of my life - but He can.
Image Courtesy:
 “We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Romans 2:28)  And, “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.  And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2-4)

~ Missy

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