He Has Made Everything Beautiful in its Time
Are you enjoying hopeful glimpses of spring time–where ever you live?
Praise God for the bird song..and peeping frogs…
…for the swelling buds, and springing flowers….
…we are so ready for these signs of the promise of new life…again!
Somehow, we never, ever tire of these springtime rites of passage…..well–maybe all except for the mud….but truly, God has “…made everything beautiful in its time! ” Ecclesiastes 3:11
Some months back, I mentioned that our family’s home was ruined by a fire several years ago….we were never able to go home again…
Neighbours and friends were wonderful to us–strangers showed concern and kindness….
…and through it all, the Lord buoyed us up, unlike anything I can adequately describe…He made the rainbows in that stormy time of our lives!
He does that for all of us as we run to–and cling to Him–as his children! Praise be to God for His immeasureable kindness to us–in the big–and small storms of our lives!!
I wrote the following story about one of my very early paintings…of early springtime snowdrops….which survived the fire in an amazing way!
The Snowdrop Painting
Since I was a little child, snowdrops have brought to mind my grandfather who lived thousands of miles away from us on the west coast of Canada. He and Grandma were good about keeping in touch with their many children and grand children through letters. And I can remember that come late in the winter, one of the details that Grandpa often shared in those letters was that his snowdrops had arrived, pushing up through the snow. As a result, these little harbingers of hope are dear to me.
This stained and damaged painting of snowdrops, with its charred and melted frame, was one of my first paintings…from back when I was a young mother and just learning the techniques of watercolours….and it has quite a story to tell…..
If it could voice its story, it might begin by saying, “Life, even in all of its beauty, is really, really hard ….even ugly and terrifying at times.”
Denying that will simply catch us off-guard, or unprepared, when the hardships do come….because come, they do.
One winter’s day, several years ago, our home was ravaged by fire….
While this painting sat on a shelf in the living room where the fire raged, the flames licked terribly close to it—to the point of actually charring and melting the frame’s surface. Smoke and soot covered it, and combined with moisture from the firemen’s hoses, damaged the paper, causing it to ripple and rust, leaving behind smoky water stains.
But the fire stopped short of consuming it…and the painting was not completely ruined! Amazing!
Threatened and damaged, yes…….but not destroyed!
I love how this little painting symbolizes the strong and courageous spirit–much like the subject itself—the snowdrops!
Snowdrops rise in frigid weather to announce spring is coming–usually through fierce winds, snow and ice. Their strength of spirit—their tenacity to live—thriving in such harsh conditions—are a wonderful example, and, encouragement to us as humans.
And just as with this painting, life can flourish, and beauty can survive…and rise….whether from the smoke and ashes, whether through the ice and snow……or whether in pain and suffering, it’s all possible through hope….
….and through faith!!
We never have to give up!! Beauty and life can thrive, even in the face of pain and hardships, and incredibly, even become more precious because of it!!
And that would be the heart of this story, if this little painting could talk.
Damaged, but not destroyed!! Blooming still!! And victorious!!
Eventually, our burned and scarred home had to be torn down…and on the day before the demolition, which was our 25th wedding anniversary, my husband visited our home, in one last attempt to salvage anything of value….any special things that he could discover hidden in the rubble or debris. (We had been allowed to enter the house to search for valuables.)
Using a ladder to reach from the pile of rubble and charred timbers in the basement up to the living room, (since the living room floor had collapsed), he was able to reach the shelf where this painting still sat, covered in soot and smoke–but still whole!
It’s a special treasure that I’m so thankful he could rescue–and it’s a wonderful reminder of hope..and springtime…courage…and God’s provisions of beauty!
Thinking of you as you courageously…thankfully… look for God’s beauty in your own life!