Artistry My Way by Erny McDonough

Archived in the category: Featured Writers, General Info
Posted by Joyce Rhyne on 17 Aug 17 - 0 Comments

Pastor Joane is truly an artist! If you have not seen her creations, then you are missing part of God’s gifting to this community. I cannot draw stick people where even my five-year-old granddaughter can tell what they might be! I have zero talent when it comes to drawing. I would truly love to paint faces and mountains, lakes, trees, valleys, and rivers. But, my drawing is limited to coloring books that have the dot-to-dot connectors.

Some of you not only remember these, but you still use them to help create order out of a blank sheet of paper. Each dot is numbered, and it is our job to simply draw a line from dot #1 to dot #2 and to each succeeding dot until the whole outline is filled in. The more complicated “pictures” might have move than 20 dots, but I rarely go for one that detailed!

Some people, even before they trace in the lines connecting the dots, can rather accurately discern the outline of what they are drawing. The dots, even when unconnected, all form some discernible pattern, but I was never that intuitive.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if life worked that way? If we could glance at an overview of all the “dots” in the portrait of our life story and see where today’s connecting line (from dot #27 to dot #28, for example) fits in the whole scenario of God’s pattern for our lives?

At times we find ourselves in a barren Arizona desert in which the sand blows in and eliminates all the dots. We once thought we knew exactly where we were going, and had it all mapped out. And then, suddenly we found ourselves in a spiritual wilderness – trackless, monotonous, and dangerous. It is so unsettling because we can no longer see the whole – we are faced with the necessity of living just one day at a time.

Then we have to trust that God Himself knows where all the dots are, and that He is not leading us simply in circles – but in some meaningful pattern that will truly take us somewhere.

My frustration is that God does not reveal the whole picture to me. Like the nation Israel in Old Testament times, He does not lead us through the wilderness on the shorter, more traveled road – but around – and around and around (see Exodus 13: 17-19).

Our Lord forces us into daily existences. Guidance is one day at a time, with no view of the future. Even the food lasts only one day – and we have to ask, “Give us this day our daily bread!”

What is God teaching us in these wilderness seasons of life where we become frustrated because we cannot see the “whole”? Often we even panicked because life appears to be making twists and turns which are taking us away from the picture we thought God wanted drawn for our lives.

Take heart! We are in God’s wonderful and terrifying wilderness! He is stripping us of everything except today. He is forcing us to connect only this morning’s dot to this evening’s dot. In such a place we learn some valuable lessons and get back to the basics which will always guide our course.

1. Prayer: I never know what today is bringing but I always know Who is in control, so I go to Him in prayer daily.

2. Trust: I have learned that my worrying bout tomorrow keeps me from allowing this present day from finding fulfillment. God can be trusted when I allow Him to lead me.

3. Obedience: I must stop trying to direct my life and listen to my Commanding Officer – we who have served in the military understand this very well!

4. Security: God has never failed to direct me in good pathways when I have put my trust in Him – and I fully believe in His love to see me through this desert as well.

5. Humility: For me, learning to lean on the Lord instead of trying to be in control is extremely challenging, but when I try following Him, I find life works out better.

As we learn to rely on God daily, we come to understand that just as He is with us today, He will be with us in all our tomorrows. He does know where the dots are going – even if we cannot see them.

As we transition into living one day at a time – and that day only – somehow we become far more focused. The day itself yields a much more intense relationship with God because we are no longer waiting for some future moment to deepen our walk with Him. It is today or never! And the same principle spills out in our interpersonal relationships. We commit ourselves to love, forgive, and duty needed for this one day.

Remember the dot-to-dot connector! When we choose to draw the line today which connects the morning to the evening – God will show us the next day where the new dot is. Keep the pencil of life moving according to His daily will, and someday God will allow us to look back and see a portrait which makes sense … and beautiful.

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