As I was painting my April picture in May, I was frustrated with myself - that it was taking me so long, that I had tried to do too much in one painting, that sometimes I had tried something that didn’t look right and had to go back and correct it. Even now that I am done with the April painting, it doesn’t quite look like what I had in my mind’s eye.
I am reminded - there is a disconnect between our desires and our reality, and I am like my painting.
When I think about where I want to be as a person and where I actually am – there is a disconnect. I am not as kind or generous or patient as I want to be. I get busy and anxious and just plain cranky. And I keep making mistakes, and sometimes I make the same mistake over and over again.
When I was a child, I thought adults had it all together. Before I got married I worried that I didn’t have it all together enough to be a married lady – to be a good wife and someday mother. I can’t believe I will be turning 30 in less than 2 months, and I still don’t have it all together. But if we waited until we had it all together and things were perfect, then no one would ever get married or have children and there would be no art.
When I look back on the transformation of my painting. There were some times when it was really ugly. I mean seriously ugly. It looked worse than it had the previous day. However, I knew what I was doing, that the there was a process. The painting was not finished yet, it still needed more time and more paint.
Sometimes life is like that too – things have to get ugly before they can get pretty. God is doing something. He knows what He’s doing. He is creating us, or rather re-creating us for something better, but sometimes we are too close to see the big picture. Plus, when things get ugly it’s hard to see anything else. It’s hard to hope.
We live in a world of in-betweens. We are in-between our reality and our picture of perfection. We are on the long path to transformation, and I like to hope that most of us are transforming into something better and not worse. I know that is the hope I have, and I hold onto. The hope that God has not given up on me – even when I have. The hope that God is victorious - even when I am a failure. The hope that God is re-creating me – even when I feel stuck in ugliness.
So, let us not give up but continue to hope - knowing we are God’s masterpiece, His poem, His workmanship, His creation.
“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)