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November 1st is always a fun day in our house. We pull out all the Christmas music and start shifting our thinking to Thanksgiving and Christmas. Planning the decorations and all the fun things that we want to do before the new year!
The last week or so of October is spent squishing in the last of Halloween festivities. Making sure we’ve watched all our Halloween movies, eating caramel apples, and deciding if and when we’ll do pumpkins. This year we decided that we did want to carve or paint some pumpkins. So, Sunday morning Mom and Dad went to the store and picked up a few pumpkins, caramel apples, and some apple cider.
Bradley and Billie Jo wanted to carve their pumpkins, I chose to paint mine. I find painting a pumpkin a lot less stressful and easier than carving. I decided on a sunflower. Something bright, cheery, and not overly complicated. Drawing has never been my strong suit, I think that’s why I like using acrylic paint and not knives. If you mess up with paint, you can just wipe it off. If you make a wrong cut, you’re stuck with it.
As I started painting my pumpkin what I envisioned and what I saw were two different things. The petals were WAY too big, not the right shape, and too orangey. So, I took a few wet wipes and scrapped the entire thing. After a quick drawing lesson from Mom and Dad and JoJo suggesting that I add more yellow to the petals instead of orange, I started again. And what I saw and what I envisioned were very similar. Was it perfect? No, but it was better than what I had before. I let it dry and added a little bit of glitter and to-da! Project accomplished!
“And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make.”
“‘Can I not to with you as this potter?’ says the LORD. ‘Look, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so you are in My hand'”
Just like I had a vision for my pumpkin and was able to work to bring that vision to life, God has a vision and a plan for our lives and works with us–transforming us into that vision. The Bible tells us that ultimately His plan for our lives is GOOD (see Romans 8:28). As Christians, our purpose on earth is to bring glory to God in all we do (Colossians 3:23) and to spread His message (Matthew 28:19-20).
Ultimately in His hand, we are safe. We may not understand what He’s doing or why; but in the end, when we reach eternity, we’ll either understand or it won’t matter. I get it, trusting people is hard and trusting God is even harder sometimes. But just like with my pumpkin: I could have left those overly large hideous petals but it wouldn’t be as good as it could be. By stripping the old paint and starting over, I was able to make it better. Cleaner, clearer, and even shiner.
God works the same way in our lives. Choosing us, picking us up, and taking us home. He knows what gifts and talents we have and gives us opportunities to use them for His glory. He cleans us off, taking our every mistake and bringing something good from it. Redeeming our lives piece by piece. God can see the ENTIRE picture at once, while we only see a fraction. That thing that looks so good to us; that job, circumstance, person, or event that we want so badly may in reality bring us more harm than good right now. In the middle of it, it’s likely not going to make any sense. That’s why it’s so important that we lean on HIS understanding and not our own. Life may look like it’s falling apart but in reality, it may be falling into place.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.”
Until next time,