It holds infinite possibilities and promise — as well as risk and responsibility. Who wants to commit to a pristine canvas, when you might “mess up?” Who wants to expose her heart for others to interpret? Often insecurity intimidates a would be painter from putting brush to paper.
It’s true in life too. Sometimes we avoid the art of living the abundant life (John 10:10). We prefer to admire or critique the works of others from a distance. We don’t risk engaging with others outside our comfort zones. It’s too messy, so we isolate ourselves in our safe circles of influence.
Art can take a myriad of forms. Conversation. Relationships. Visual arts. Performing arts. Cooking. Sewing. Writing. Software, interior or fashion design. Event planning. Mechanics and engineers. Crafting a business deal, a speech, lecture or a sermon. Gardening and flower arranging. Managing people… all these and more are forms of artistry.
According to the dictionary, to “create” means to bring something into existence or to cause something to happen as a result of one’s actions. Fairly all-encompassing — so I believe an artist is within ALL of us. Don’t trust me… you are an artist because God says so.
Genesis 1:1 says “In the beginning, God created…” He is an Artist. It goes on a few verses later “So God created human beings in his own image.” We are His unique creations, made to create. We all have some form of creative, expressive, influential DNA, derived straight from the Creator of the Universe. We need to find where God is calling us to “create.” Ephesians 2:10 says “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” To glorify Him and edify others.
While each new day is often compared to a blank canvas, I see it a little differently. A canvas, yes, but not a stark white one. Our God never slumbers, so each new day, there’s a picture in progress on the canvas, a story unfolding. We only need to look for Jesus’ hand and join in where He’s already at work. John 5:19 says “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.”
When I was little I felt tremendous joy in a fresh box of crayons. I still remember the smell and those neat little points! I’ve loved writing and painting all my life. They have always drawn me in and offered me great expression. Rest and peace. But there have been many years where I haven’t painted at all.
After 7th grade, I dropped art class for more rigorous academics. Places I believed could lead me to success and reward. I decided painting was frivolous child’s play. My juvenile assessment persisted into adulthood. Art was for personal enjoyment. Leisure after the important things were done, or not at all. My painting served no real purpose, unless I could be really amazing — a profitable artist or master of my trade.
God is changing my point of view. Today I not only value creative expression, but believe no one is living completely as God desires them to unless they value their creative niche, and risk sharing their God appointed art form with others.
God is using painting in my life in important ways.
Recently, we removed a rarely used pool table and turned our pool room into a TV room. With all those windows, there was too much glare by day and a fish bowl effect by night. And really — who needs multiple sitting rooms? With no more practical uses, I timidly suggested maybe I might paint more if I had a space I could keep “messy.” A studio? And all that natural light made the pool room perfect.
Consumed by what felt urgent, critical, and mine to accomplish, my life’s pace just wasn’t compatible with creativity. Despite helping, going and doing, I felt guilty and inept. I tried hard, but it was never enough — and I was instead being controlled and consumed by my trials… by life on this earth.
He is giving me new Life! A new purpose. After asking me to stop all my busyness and just be, He is beckoning me to His new plan. To work He has uniquely molded me to do (more later on that).
You are an ARTIST! I hope you have discovered a form of artistry that draws you completely into the present moment, as it temporarily drains away worldly concerns and distractions. A place to be vulnerable, authentic and raw. Where you can lose yourself.
God led me back to painting… to teach me about His nature, expose a little more of my flesh, and to transform me for His glory. Artistry is good for that. It helps us embrace and engage fully — letting go of what’s broken and left undone.
Sharing my art requires me to be vulnerable. Trusting God in all the details as I rest, slow down, fill my cup and make time for Him. This “frivolous” creating has allowed God the space to teach me a little more about His desires for me and where He truly wants me to join Him in His work.
Like Eric Lidell said in “Chariot’s of Fire, “I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.” God gave me a love of painting… and when I paint, I feel His presence and His pleasure. It has less to do with what I produce on the canvas than the freedom and the abundant life He offers, as I become more fully “me.”
Matthew 11:29-30 sheds some light: “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (emphasis mine).
Are you drowning in pressure? Do you believe you’re made in the image of God and as such, an artist? Could acknowledging whatever art form God has place in your heart help you gain His Holy perspective?
I hope you have something that provides in-the-moment creative joy in your life. If not, ask God to reveal His gift to you. Then look for where He is already at work, and calling you to join in His creation. Pick up your “paintbrush,” choose your favorite color and go to work with Him on the canvas He has waiting for your contribution.
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