The empty canvas stares at me as I search for inspiration. On my wooden palette, there are several puddles untouched by my brush in hues of blue, green, yellow, and red. I hope for divine inspiration. Nothing comes. Isnít that how it always goes, when weíre searching for answers?
I put my brush into the blue and with a quick swoop of my hand, my mind wanders away from the painting, and lands on my future.
Verses swarm in my mind. Two in particular haunt me: Matthew 6:25 and Proverbs 16:9.
A vacant sky begins to emerge from the white canvas, I begin thinking of my own loneliness. Our attempts at building our family have been futile. We plan, worry, hope, and dream. Nothing comes. The Lord has not yet blessed our plans.
The ground begins to form through blots of differing shades of green. The green reminds me of my own jealousy of those around me. Children are constant reminders of failure, betrayal, and hurt. I blame God. Do I not lead a godly life? Isnít He supposed to give me the desires of my heart?
From the green on the canvas arose the most magnificent mountain with a cliff here, a smudge there, and alas a blanket of grass. Prayer may move mountains, but it has not gotten me pregnant. Those at the church have been praying, girls in my bible study, my friends, my family, and then us. And yet, through all of the prayer, God has not answered.
I stare at the painting and realize something is missing. The sky is too dark, the grass is to plain, and though the mountain looks majestic it is alone.
I ponder what it needs. I add some pinks, yellows, purples, orange, and dot colorful smudges throughout the grass. It appears to have flowers growing throughout the land. How beautiful God creates them. So delicately, beautifully, and yet they only last a season. He creates everything so masterfully that a bird or bee eating its nectar only makes a flower flourish more. Heís a good God, great God. Lost in the wonder of Godís magnificence, I begin to forget to be mad, bitter, alone.
The yellow from the ground wisps up into the sky, to add a brilliant light cascading down on the mountain: Godís light.
I then look at the painting- my creation. No, this is not my creation, I did not create the mountains, the birds, the flowers. It is God's creation: the sky, the light, the beauty. I add a bird in the sky, a winding road in the foreground, and land on the mountain. Something is still missing.
I stare at it for moments, and then begin to draw some brisk features of a bear and then another and another.
I stand back, and look at my painting. I admire the family of bears huddled on the mountain. I look with satisfaction. I pray silently, "God I know you will answer our prayers, please Lord, build our family."
Years pass, the painting of the bears lay on my mantel.
"Mama, who painted those bears?"
"Look they are a family just like us, a mama, a daddy, and a little girl."
"You're right, but how do you know that little bear is a girl."
"Because you were painting our family. See, that mama bear and the daddy bear adopted her just like you adopted me."
"Oh, they did, did they?"
"Yes, they did." She was quite certain.
"You know, Emily, I think you are right."
We sat there huddling close in our blanket. She talks about this and that as I ponder how sometimes our prayers are being answered, we are just not patient enough. Thank you God. You are an amazing perfect God. I'm sorry I ever doubted you.
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