What I’m about to write is a pretty big stretch, like most of my writings, but bear with me – this is what I see so this is what I write.

An unfinished painting is like our life. We are the canvas and God the painter. The paint colors are our experiences in life. Sometimes the piece of art stays unfinished for a very long time, but sometimes the painter gets it perfect in a very short time and so puts it in His magnificent museum. Sometimes He uses beautiful shades of paint, those that bring joy or peace. Other times, He uses dark paint that brings pain and heartache. I was doing some painting last week and it just came to me how all of these fit together.

There are different types of canvases. Some are stretched some not. Some are board type that have been covered in Gesso. Then we have wood, metal, glass – all kinds of canvases. Before we were born, God decided what kind of canvas we would be. Then the day comes when God chose which canvas He needs and brings it to the easel. This is the day we are born and our canvas is blank. Our canvas is ready to be painted so beautifully that it can be put in His magnificent museum.

Let’s just pretend we are looking through the window and watching God paint this particular canvas, watch how He works. When the canvas is blank he uses light blues and pinks with a little light yellow thrown in. All of the pretty pastel colors. As He continues to paint the canvas becomes a little darker. Then, all at once, He brings up black and dark browns, really dark purples and very dark blues. These are colors we usually don’t think of to be used on a beautifully painted canvas! But wait, He gets out the more colorful paints again. Then we can see how that dark blue was needed, let’s say, water in a flowing stream. If there were no dark colors, the brighter colors would not shine so bright. We would not see how the stream flows. Wait, He’s bringing out those dark colors again! I thought He was finished with those. Let’s see how He’s going to use them this time. Now the brighter colors – wait, the darker colors are representing beautiful trees in the background that is now a beautiful forest next to that stream – and there is this little tiny stream of light shining through that forest. Oh, look at those beautiful yellows and blues, lilacs and pinks with a touch of white here and there – beautiful flowers and bushes. And in the background, we see this beautiful sun shining right through, brightening and highlighting the whole of the painting! Did you see that coming? Look, He’s putting His signature on it and setting it aside to dry, for then it will be finished and He can put it in the Museum to show with all of the other beautiful paintings He has painted through the years.

He always starts with a blank “canvas” and this time we will say it’s a stretched canvas. That’s us. I see those pretty and light pastel colors as our babyhood and youth. When He begins to choose the colors that are a little darker, I see that as we become adults. Have you ever wished you could go back to the pastels? I have. It’s hard being an adult and sometimes no fun at all. We experience real disappointment and unhappiness. Sometimes those dark color times are very hard to get through. Sometimes it was a person who disappointed us, sometimes a job where you were fired, or a divorce just to name a few. Sometimes those dark colors are used quite a bit and sometimes we get through pretty quickly, though at the time it doesn’t seem like it. Then, most of us have another bright time come along. Some brighter than others, some have bright colors that never end while others have another period of darkness. But when the bright colors come on this time, we see the brightness, the beautiful colors, and we see there was a stream of light coming through that dark tunnel. But most of all we see that huge, bright and beautiful Son right there lighting up everything all the time. All of the different colors, the beautiful ones as well as the dark ones, are the experiences in our lives. If there were only pastels and light, beautiful ones the canvas would be rather boring. Just how the darker colors bring out the light, the dark, hard times in our life can cause us to appreciate and see the beauty that comes along in our life. Take it from someone who knows, the dark times seem to last forever and when they don’t, they then seem to keep coming back in spurts, like dark spots on the painting. If we only look at the dark colors in a painting then we miss the beauty of the whole. If we only look at the dark times in our lives, we don’t appreciate or see the beauty in our lives when they come. Believe me when I say how hard it is to look at the beautiful colors when you are up close to the painting and can only see the dark colors. We have to back up and see the whole. And that’s hard, too, because it seems like you’re stuck in place – I know.

I’m not sure you see what I see, but I think God allows us to see just enough to keep going, just enough to keep our hope, just enough for faith. And did you recognize the museum as heaven? I hope so. That is a beautiful and wonderful museum to be in. Eye has not seen nor ear heard the wonderful things God has for us – so many perfect and beautiful colors.

Earlier I said God chooses the canvas He “needs.” We are born for a reason and whether we accomplish our reason or not, He did choose us for reason, something special He has just for us to do, something just for us to accomplish. What happens if we don’t accomplish what God needed for us to accomplish, you ask? Well, we are still His canvas, but He might just set us aside and paint later, when He has something else He wants us to accomplish. But, He never throws away the canvases that belong to Him. They are His forever, whether or not they are painted. They sure won’t be hung in the most beautiful part of the museum, but they are His to hang one day. Have you been set aside? Are you accomplishing what you believe God wants for you to accomplish? I want to accomplish what He has for me so that I can shine bright – bring rewards – for His Son. The Son that was shining so bright in our painting and was there all along, the other colors just had to be put on the canvas before we could see Him.

Like I said at the beginning, this one is a pretty big stretch and I may not have put it in a perfect outline type order. But, again, I write it pretty much as I see it. Please excuse any grammatical errors and if you see something differently that’s great because it’s what you see. What you see is important because you see it. I pray your painting is coming along beautifully!

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