At an adult education class, I found lilies are hard for me to draw. I erased many wrong lines and flipped to several new pages for a fresh start before I was satisfied. However, the next week the teacher handed us one sheet of black paper and a white pencil. It was our only piece of paper and the white marks wouldn’t erase. Once I made a line, it was permanent. This was a much harder project. For me, it was almost impossible. It’s too much like life where our words and actions are permanent.
Along with everyone else, I proceeded with much more care than the week before. However, it didn’t take long before there were lines on the page I didn’t want where I drew them. There was no remedy. I just had to keep trying, make adjustments, or try to hide them with more lines. It was a frustrating and harrowing morning, but I ended with a finished drawing. I wasn’t proud of it, but I took the mess home and filed it away hoping to never see it again.
Later, during a quiet time, the Lord had me studying lilies in Matthew 6:28 and I wrote a poem about them. When it was complete, I remembered the picture I’d drawn on the white paper, so I searched for it and used it to illustrat the poem. I also found the less perfect lily on the black paper. It fascinated me. It wasn’t good, but neither was it the disaster I remembered. God’s still small voice said, “That’s how your life is. When I saved you, it was black and dark, but I’ve worked to make it into a thing of beauty. It isn’t there yet, but look how far it’s come.” I now use this drawing as a reminder He’s still working on me. Since I stepped back and stopped trying to grow by my own efforts, my progress has been much faster. It’s only when I forget and try to help that progress slows.
I framed the black picture. It sits on my desk to remind me every day how far the Lord has brought me and how far I have left to go. It is both encouragement and inducement. That’s why I’ve made it the symbol for this web page and blog. We’re all emerging from the darkness and into the light. If our interaction on this site can speed our cooperation with Him, our progress toward the beauty coming from being more like Him, then it will fulfill its purpose.
I hope to post a blog every week. There will be a place for interaction. I don’t have all the answers by any means, but maybe together, we can help each other grow more into the light of God’s peace and rest. Follow this blog so we can help each other grow into the beauty of His peace and rest and build beauty from our ashes.