October 25, 2015

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Paint By Number Life?

There is an appeal to paint by number "art".  Everything is there for you & laid out just so-so.  Even the colors are numbered on the work & the containers holding the paint that they provide for you.  How could anything go wrong? 

 The only thing is...the struggle to create, compose, and carry out an artistic idea is what brings a "soul" to the art work.  The well planned, laid out, "perfection" of a paint by number leaves a wallpaper like feeling..  The artistic struggle & imperfection is what gives  voice, power, and connection to art.

So many wish their was a formula to life. 
" If I follow abc...than xyz will occur."
"I just need to live my life this way,
 and good things will happen."

Life isn't a paint by number.  I understand the deep desire to avoid the pain that life can bring.  I understand wishing that the evils of this world would stay far away from us & the ones we love.  I have seen the impact of the injustice of this world on a life/family.  The young die.  The healthy become sick.  A life forever changed by no fault of their own.  Pain & heartache happens.  Tears flow as if they will never end.  

We do not wish or want for these things in our life....but what do we do when they happen?  

But You, O Lord, are a shield about me, 
My glory, and the One who lifts my head.
I was crying to the Lord with my voice, 
And He answered me from His holy mountain.
I lay down and slept; 
I awoke, for the Lord sustains me.
I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people
Who have set themselves against me round about.
Psalm 3:3-6

Our world...our life is not paint by number.  Sin came into this world...and has forever changed what God had intended for His children to experience. However, it has not changed God.  He is God.  He is still on His throne!  He is the one that sustains us in the midst of our trials.  He lifts our head in the midst of our sorrows so we can see His face!  He gives us strength we did not know we had in our greatest hour(s) of need.  

We find that in & after our struggle...we come to a new understanding of God's grace.  We see His love for us in a new way.  There is a new & deeper appreciation for the Lord's presence in our life.  Prayer is more real.  Praise is more passionate. The Word is more powerful.   Not because of the pain & problems, but because of the One who saw us through it all.  

The paint by number life might seem appealing, but Lord...I choose you in the good times & in the bad times.  I choose you...because you first chose me!  You gave Your life...that I might have Life!


Dear Jesus, help me see You...and seek you!
May I glorify You in all things...knowing You sustain me through it all.  May the tests of this world become the testimony of Your goodness & faithfulness.  When I feel I can not go on...may I collapse in your arms & find rest....peace....love.


  1. Beautiful - what a wonderful way to start the day - thank you !

  2. Great post! Such beautiful words of encouragement! My paint by numbers as a kid always frustrated me that they look so incomplete and ugly until the final end when you finish it looks as though all the random blobs come together to make something beautiful kind of like the confusion of trials we go through and how we will sometimes only see the beauty of Hid sovereignty at the very end!

  3. Thank you, Ted. Have a blessed week!

  4. Thank you for this post! So timely in my own life, and something great and meaningful to share with my students with regard to growing as an art student- and for that matter, as a student, as a person. Thank you!!

  5. Well stated. Thank you for sharing wise words and thoughtful prayer.

  6. This is my first time reading one of your devotionals and once again I'm humbled by timing. My sister's husband was tragically killed 2 weeks ago. He was only 29 and left behind 4 babies. The only way the family has been able to survive through this heartbreak, is through God. He has blessed us in so many ways and He will provide for my sister and her babies. Thank you for sharing your words today. They really spoke to me.

  7. Truth. He sees the big picture, we only we what is right in front of us (and sometimes we even miss that!) Thank you for sharing your faith.