Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. Isaiah 41:10
He didn’t know it, but when he said he was selling that first painting, I went and looked at my walls for a space. I loved the message…..”You are enough.” So simple and yet so powerful, as if God was speaking from Heaven drawing the eye toward that light, with a message for all the world. And then he said it was sold, but that he would paint one for me. I caught my breath. He did he know? Maybe it was all those “likes” on Facebook. I don’t remember saying I wanted one. But I did.
And it’s anointed, I know that. Because whenever God joins up with us to create something, the message always reaches more than who it’s originally intended for.
In between stammering and searching for words I told him that my Dad painted watercolor and how it was growing up with paints around. How he would put a black “X” through a painting we all thought was perfect but he didn’t.
I told him about how I have always battled fear, always been unsure of my own abilities, always looking for confirmation. But maybe I should be grateful, it’s the one thing that has kept me close to my Father’s side.
When we settled on the quote, I knew it was right. Isaiah is one of my favorite books in all the Bible.
Last night, Elaine stood in the kitchen overwhelmed because so much was over and she was afraid of relaxing; of not knowing where or when the emotion would finally release itself. I said, “At some point when you finally settle down and relax, you will wonder how you ever got through it all.” She said, “Yes, that’s what I’m worried about, that’s when it will hit.”
No more school, no more double duty rest home visits between runs. No more sleeping out on the porch listening to motorcycles cut through the night at all hours, screaming off to who knows where. No more sleeping with ice packs because it’s still 100 degrees and your Mom doesn’t even realize she is sleeping in your old room. No more battles over showers. No more watching her Dad lose his grip on this life and pass into the next.
No more. And it scares her to death. Because now it feels like she just dove off a cliff and forgot her parachute.
Yes, this message is for more than just me. It is for her too, as well as the artist who painted it. Really, it’s a message God wants all of us to get. It’s an open invitation to be inspired to leave our fears behind.
Inspiration, when it starts with God, spreads outward like ripples in a lake. When we create something with our own hands, it’s like He is inviting us into His personal sanctuary. To our surprise, we discover that the transubstantiation that takes place during the creative process actually has the power to give life. Whatever we make then becomes glory for Him.
“Do not fear, for I am with you.” Like a voice in the wilderness it beckons.
Thank you Duane for using your talent for His glory, and thank you Jessica for encouraging this, a little bird told me you did.