I studied an area of a painting from an artist I greatly admire. Up close, the brush marks appeared random and indistinct. But I took a few steps back, and what at first seemed only a haphazard application of paint now emerged as part of an exquisite landscape.
It took distance to make sense of the work.
John Singer Sargent, one of the greatest artists of the nineteenth century, was a master at this. Though I cannot find the exact quote right now, David McCullough once wrote about Sargent’s ability to capture a subject in just a few strokes. Up close, the strokes were most likely not readable, but take a step back and oh, wow.
In this life, we may face problems that are going to take distance to understand. The things God allows can often confound us, but in the elapsing of time, we may gain understanding. And of course, God’s healing power may place us in a better position to see more clearly. But, sometimes, it’s going to be in the expanse of eternity, we grasp the why and how.
Someone shared with us a quote by track and field star Sydney McLaughlin, two-time gold medalist in the Tokyo Olympics. She said, “I pray my journey may be a clear depiction of submission and obedience to God. Even when it doesn’t make sense, even when it doesn’t seem possible. He will make a way out of no way. Not for my own gratification, but for His glory. I have never seen God fail in my life. In anyone’s life for that matter. Just because I may not win every race or receive every one of my heart’s desires does not mean God has failed.”
As we're running our race, we may lack comprehension to haunting questions and conclude that God has failed us. But no, He has not. We need to take a few steps back and wait for the light He may reveal—if not in this life, then we have the expectation He will unfold His purposes in eternity.
It comes down to trust. The apostle Paul said it succinctly, “We live by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). Dear friend, if you are stricken by lack of understanding in what seems a muddle of brush strokes right now, take heart and fling yourself into the arms of Jesus. Keep trusting his love and good intentions toward you.
One day, the master artist will remove the veil from the painting, and we will behold a work of beauty that exceeds anything we have ever imagined.
Beverly Varnado is the author of several small town romances from Anaiah Press including her latest, A Season for Everything. All are available at Amazon. A memoir, Faith in the Fashion District, from Crosslink Publishing is available wherever books are sold. Also consider her other books, Give My Love to the Chestnut Trees and Home to Currahee. She also has an Etsy Shop, Beverly Varnado Art.
To explore the web version of One Ringing Bell, please visit bev-oneringingbell.blogspot.com
Beverly Varnado copyright 2021