Friday, December 30, 2011

The Canvas of Our Lives

            There is a perfect moment each day that I enjoy more so than any other. It is the early part of the morning when the sun begins to creep from its slumber. The earth fills with shades of pink, purple, and orange, and I envision God with a paintbrush stroking a canvas.
            These silent, still moments are mine alone, and I eagerly look forward to them as I find it is a perfect way to “see” God and spend quiet time alone with Him. The peacefulness of the sunrise fills me with an excitement for the day.
            I often photograph these sunrises, because there are never two just alike. While the photographs capture some of the beauty, one photograph can never fully capture the ever-changing sunrise or the breathless beauty that it becomes through each stroke of the Master Artist’s paintbrush. The sunrises are continuously changing within the few minutes they are there. How do you capture such indescribable beauty in one picture?

            During my many mornings of watching the unveiling of the sunrise, I often think about how each of our lives is a canvas to God. We come into this world blank, and as we grow, He begins to apply different techniques through the work of His paintbrush. We become the individual artwork of the Master’s hand full of potential and gifts.
            Each day, God reveals another brushstroke on this painting that is my life. I can see with clarity how He has painted away the guilt, the shame, and the brokenness of this sinner girl, leaving behind a canvas of grace-filled colors and redeemed gentle strokes of new life.
            There have been times that I have taken the paint and the brush for myself. Either I did not trust God with His artistry or I was just too stubborn to give Him full control. What I created was a canvas of skewed colors and unsightly messes…far from anything that could be considered art. But God…God was still God.
When I finally realized my talents at painting this canvas of my life was far too much for me, God was eagerly willing to accept the brush and paint once again to begin a new work. For that, I am glad!
Then, there are mornings when the sunrise is hidden behind gray clouds and a thick curtain of fog. Seeing the array of colors and the strokes of His brush is difficult. But God…God is still God. And His hand is still working and painting and mixing colors and gifts. And I am still watching and waiting for the explosion of His majesty across the horizon.

Isn’t that just like our lives? Sometimes we get covered up in the fog of our messes and our canvases become clouded with ungratefulness, but God…He is still God. When we give back the brush and the paint and the canvas, His colors of mercy break through the fog and the clouds revealing fresh, new opportunities for each day allowing us to begin anew.
Just as each sunrise is different, so are we. We all have an array of colors and gifts and talents yet to be painted on the canvas of our lives, and I do not want to miss a single one of mine.
The New Year will soon begin and it brings with it the chance for colorful, brilliant new brushstrokes on our lives. Allow the Master Artist to brush you in fine delicate colors this coming year. His artwork is far better than anything we can create on our own.
           “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10
            Happy New Year!

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