Today, I woke up with some aches & doubts, but I woke up.
Life may not be perfect, but I am undoubtedly blessed.
If I were home right now, there is zero doubt it my mind that I’d be taking out this overwhelming amount of negative energy by painting my feelings away late into the night. I would give anything to be in PJ’s and unbrushed hair, sprawled out semi-uncomfortably on my cold linoleum floor. Uncomfortable joints and comfortable heart. This sounds tremendously better than procrastinating studying for my stats final.
I would not call my painting skills A+, but I would call my painting character that of an expert. Painting requires patience, an ability to accept imperfection. It requires understanding that it takes time and mistakes to create something beautiful. It requires an eye for turning insignificant colorful goo into something that has meaning to you.
My prized collection of paints is nothing more than a messy basket of goops and stale brushes. No one would ever walk into my room and stare at the random assortment of of plastic tubes & paint stained napkins in my dollar store basket and call it beautiful. But, when the same exact paints are made into canvas creations tacked on my walls – they suddenly are worthy of joy and wonder and praise. (Let’s get one thing straight: my paintings are not very good, I just have nice people in my life. But that’s besides the point. 😉 )
The point is, God’s plan is like my messy collection of paints. (A stretch – I know. Stay with me here ; ) Every color and fraying brush and stained mixing plate doesn’t really make sense or have much meaning on its own. But together, they create meaning and purpose and beauty.
Every failure, every heartbreak, every boring communications class, relationship, simple interaction, doesn’t make sense on its own. And being human, it’s hard to realize that these pains and aches are merely God’s brushstrokes. That with every mundane, beautiful, or maybe painful moment, God is creating. That constantly, He’s mixing paint and smearing colors and shaping shadows to make a masterpiece.
Right now, God’s artistry doesn’t really make sense. I feel like I have to have everything figured out. I struggle to give my worries fully to God because I am ridiculously impatient, and I can’t help but wonder “what’s net?” or “where do I go from here?” What on earth could God possibly be painting with my life?
The beauty of living life with Jesus is that we don’t have to know what comes next. When we commit our lives to Christ, we commit to the great adventure. We commit to mystery in the unknown, and this can be scary – but we also commit to joy in creation – in wonder. Sometimes, I forget we learn most about ourselves, and about who God is, in the “pause.” The times where we’re not really sure what paintbrush God will take up next – that’s when we learn most about trust. In stillness, in mystery, we are challenged to seek God, and when we take a step back, He reveals himself.
Today, I am challenging myself to enjoy the pause. To embrace the fact that I don’t know what’s next, & enjoy it. I am challenging myself to understand that paint is being mixed and I don’t really know what its purpose is, but the artist has a darn good eye for creating blessings, and this is no exception.
John 13:7 – Jesus replied, “You don’t understand what I’m doing now, but someday you will.”