June 12, 2022

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Paint By Number Life

There is a wonderful appeal to the paint by number kits that you can by at the store or order online.  Everything is provided for you.  The colors are even numbered on the work & the containers holding the paint so you have not question about what goes where.  How could anything go wrong? Right?  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 numbers leaves the work feeling more like wallpaper than art. It limits the creator to doing only the basic & prevents them from true personal expression. It may look nice, but it is missing something. The artistic struggle & imperfections are what gives character, heart, voice, power, and connection to those that view the work. 

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

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?  

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 struggles...we come to a new understanding of God's grace.  We see His love for us in new ways. 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.   

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!


  1. I've wished those words many times about relationships, parenting, employment. He knows what's best and I seek to live for His glory through the struggle.

  2. Thank you for the devotion. A great start to my wintry morning in South Australia.