I was driving home from Bible study last night, arguing with God in my head about how insufficient I feel for some of the things He’s laid on my heart to do when I was reminded of a situation that occurred a few years ago. As a former student in the gifted program in school and the parent of a gifted student I was asked to serve on the advisory committee for the gifted program. At our first meeting, all of the committee members introduced themselves, and it happened that I was among the last to introduce myself. After hearing introductions from teachers, school board members and others involved in education, what came out of my mouth was “My name is Jeannie, and I’m nobody”.
How often do we feel that way in other areas of our life? We look around us and see people that are more successful, make more money, are more patient, more loving, more educated… Whatever area it is we feel we lack in, it’s easy to spot someone that doesn’t and wish that we were them. It’s easy to ask God why He didn’t give us this gift or that gift and overlook the abundance of gifts that He has bestowed upon us. It’s easy to label ourselves a nobody and ignore the masterpiece that our loving Father made of us.
We look at the canvas of our lives and see areas that need retouching, or splotches of paint that don’t make sense. We look at God’s work of art in progress, and fail to see the beauty He’s creating. I used to love watching Bob Ross paint. One of the things I heard him say over and over was that there were no mistakes in painting. Only happy accidents. If he dripped paint on the canvas, he’d turn it into a tree, or a bird or something that in the end looked as if he had planned for it to be there all along.
God, our master painter, makes no mistakes or accidents. What looks like paint that fell off of a too full brush, be it divorce, death of a loved one, loss of a job or any of a number of things that we think shouldn’t have happened, is in actuality just the beginning of a new part of His masterpiece.
We are a living canvas, and God is at work in us and around us, bringing beauty to life. If we look too long at the paint splotch and fail to see what He’s creating, we lose out on so much peace and joy in life. Yes, life is hard. You will not ever hear me say it’s peachy and life serving Christ is never painful. But our God is the master at taking those moments that seem wrong, and turning them into a beauty beyond what we could ever imagine. Even when the canvas fights back, He lovingly takes His brush and recreates the design He had in mind for us. So, when you feel as if He made a mistake, stop looking at the splotch, and instead look for what He’s going to make out of it.
Don’t be afraid to dream big. And if you feel He’s laid on your heart to do something you feel ill-equipped for, remember that whatever He calls you to, He will equip you for. In my flesh, I look at my desire to be a marriage and family counselor (that I wholeheartedly believe comes straight from God) and wonder who would want advice and encouragement from a divorced woman. A woman that couldn’t help her own marriage survive. I look at my desire to write a book that can help encourage people. Me… an author? Who am I that anyone would buy my book? But then I think of Moses. A man who felt inadequate for the job God called him to. He offered up excuse after excuse, but when it came down to it, he was able to do what God commanded, because God Himself was with him and gave him what was necessary to fulfill his calling. He will do the same with me. He’ll do the same with you. Dream those Godly dreams and then watch as God fulfills them in your life. But never forget where the power came from, and praise His name continually!