Have you ever struggled to stay positive? Maybe there’s a difficult circumstance in your life that keeps you awake at night. Perhaps you’ve been battling a chronic illness or even depression. Or maybe you’ve been dealing with tragedy and aren’t sure how much more you can take. Regardless, we’ve all been there. We all deal with things we’d rather not have to deal with.
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My mother has been battling chronic illness. In all honesty, doctors aren’t even sure what to call her “illness.” All she knows is that it is draining and painful. Not knowing the cause or the treatment makes it all the more so. She has to wake up and trust God every day to get her through. A couple of weeks ago, she had a dream. She woke up from this dream knowing that God had shared these words with her: “I am painting you a new picture.”
Fast forward a few days…
I was watching a television show with my girls the other day. One of the characters in the show was painting a picture of a pink pig, and she ended up messing up the picture by accidentally adding a large pink splotch next to her pig. She was devastated until her teacher pointed out that she could make something out of the splotch. She ended up turning her mistake into a baby pig. What she thought was a ruined picture was now even better than she had imagined it originally.
Splotches happen for many reasons in our lives. Some the enemy puts there to try to trip us up. Others are simply the consequences of poor choices made either by us or the people around us. And while others are merely the result of living in a fallen world.
But there is good news for those of us who suffer from having “splotches” on our paintings: God is in the business of turning splotches into the best part of our picture.
Whether the splotch was the result of our actions or not, the Bible tells us that God works ALL THINGS together for our good. (Romans 8:28)
But there’s a funny thing about splotches on paintings – they tend to take our focus away from everything else. The same is true in our lives. We often look at the mistake. We look at the circumstance. And we have no idea how God could possibly turn it into something amazing. When all we can see is the splotch, we have trouble seeing the big picture.
The enemy would love nothing more than for you to focus solely on your splotches – so much so that you can’t see what God’s doing. You lose faith. You lose focus. And ultimately you become so focused on the splotch that you become completely ineffective for God.
The solution? Don’t allow the enemy to lie to you. You are a masterpiece in the making! Not a single brush stroke surprises the Painter. He has plans for them all… the ones you put there by mistake… the ones that were beyond your control… even the ones that seem like they’ve ruined the whole painting.
God is painting a masterpiece and every brushstroke matters.
God already knows what your finished masterpiece looks like. In fact, when He looks at you, He sees a completed work of art. So while we spend our time focusing on brushstrokes that seem useless or even damaging, He’s saying, “Trust me. I’m painting you an amazing picture.”
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. – Ephesians 2:10 (NLT)
*Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.