I absolutely love French Impressionism. I literally teared up with joy and awe the first time I saw a gallery full of original works by Renoir, Monet, Manet and Pissarro. I’d never seen artwork that moved me so profoundly.
Standing back at a distance I was able to enjoy the serenity of the hayfield, or the garden pond filled with lily pads or the image of three beautiful young girls (like my daughters 😊) standing around a piano enjoying music together. Every painting conveyed peace, tranquility, beauty and goodness.
When I took a few steps closer, however, the images grew increasingly blurry and formless. As I moved right up to one of the canvases, all I could see were random dots or strokes of paint, which made no sense at all. The priceless masterpiece suddenly looked like a meaningless and confused disarray of colours.
It can be like that for us in life. We’re often confronted with experiences that make no sense to us. We’re so close to the details of the event that we are unable to see the big picture, the broader meaning or purpose behind what’s going on right in front of our eyes. It all just feels like a blurry, bewildering mess.
There are numerous examples of this all around us every day. The COVID-19 pandemic, endless riots and protests on city streets all around the world, the recurring Summer bushfires in Australia and the North American West-coast, a job-loss after 30 years of faithful service, or the sudden premature death of a loved one.
From our finite earthbound perspective, these events make no sense. They are exasperating. They can shake the very foundations of our faith – “What’s going on God? Have you relinquished control?”
But if, for a moment, we were able to step back and see things from God’s perspective, everything would come into focus and begin to make sense, like a Monet masterpiece. We’d be able to see the beauty and the good that God has in mind for us and our loved ones.
If we spend any time reading our Bibles, this shouldn’t be a surprise to us. God tells us repeatedly in His Word that ‘He’s got this!’ He has it all in hand and we can trust that when He has completed painting His masterpiece in our life, it will be the most beautiful scene imaginable.
During these difficult times that we’re all facing, I encourage you take a few minutes each day to stand back from the busyness of life and reflect on some of God’s amazing promises.
Here are a few to get you started:
“The rain and snow come down from the heavens and stay on the ground to water the earth. They cause the grain to grow, producing seed for the farmer and bread for the hungry. It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit. It will accomplish all I want it to, and it will prosper everywhere I send it. You will live in joy and peace. The mountains and hills will burst into song, and the trees of the field will clap their hands!” (Isa. 55:10-12)
“Good people pass away; the godly often die before their time. But no one seems to care or wonder why. No one seems to understand that God is protecting them from the evil to come. For those who follow godly paths will rest in peace when they die.” (Isa. 57:1-2)
“The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, "The LORD is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!" The LORD is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him. So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the LORD.” (Lam. 3:22-26)
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Rom. 8:28)
“For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” (2 Cor. 4:17-18)
The next time you are confronted with difficulty in life that doesn’t make sense or feels chaotic, consider for a moment how close you are standing to the situation. Maybe you simply need to take a few steps back and try to see things from God’s point of view, from the Master’s perspective, as He has ‘painted’ it for us in His precious Word.
Then, we’ll be reminded that… He’s got this!