A few months ago I was nose-length away from a million-dollar masterpiece of impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh. The work hangs in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. What I saw up close was a confusing array of brush strokes–– slashing brush marks, pixel-like paint dots, blank spaces, and even globby splotches of color. Of course none of this made sense. Yet, when I stepped back 8 feet, the various brush stroke techniques came together to form a breathtakingly lovely landscape of the French countryside.
My life Is like that. Many are the strokes that have made my life what it is. There have been slashes of rejection, blotches of failure, colors that made no sense up close, entire blank spaces of ignorance, tiny pinpoint friendships that were hardly noticed. At the moment, and there have been many, I felt my life to be unbeautiful, botched, without purpose… Yet when I step back and examine it across the years, I see the pattern emerge. It is a masterpiece. And I am satisfied.
In the Bible God promises this. He says, “For we know that in everything God works together for good, for those who love him and are called according to his
purposes.” (Romans 8:28) The man who wrote that, the Apostle Paul, was the first Christian Missionary-– himself single, rejected by his own people, disfigured from beatings, falsely accused, and imprisoned. An ugly life story until you realize God was working in all those brush strokes to write the theology of the church in what is now the New Testament. Indeed, my life is hid by faith with Jesus Christ. And he wastes nothing. My bad days can become His glory, the dark lines and blotches of pigment His lovely truths. So, I trust him. Do you?
by STEPHEN CROTTS