I heard not long ago that the inscription on Ruth Bell Graham's tomb reads:
"END OF CONSTRUCTION. THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATIENCE."It started me thinking about the construction work the Lord is doing in my life and how it's a lot like a painting in progress. Let's face it, construction, like a partly done painting, can be quite a mess. I've had people walk into my studio at times and grimace at a painting on the easel. It's a misconception to think it looks good from start to finish. Trust me, it doesn't, and in fact every painting goes through its 'ugly stage' (see above.)
But I have a vision of the way it should look in the end, and in most cases I can complete a painting to my satisfaction. It pleases me to know where I'm heading and how I'll get there, even in the ugly phase.
My life has been going through an ugly stage lately, not because He lacks any skill or intention, but because the materials just have to be molded that way, it seems. You can see how the wet paint in the painting above has bled into the paper, out of bounds, all blotchy and smeared. But it's how the paint behaves on that paper with that amount of water. I simply let it dry and continued painting. I rather like what's there in the progress shot, even though it's odd looking, because there's some beauty showing already. I suspect Jesus looks at our lives in progress with the same optimism. And of course what He's doing is a far superior work to my humble painting.
He's patient because He has the plan already worked out. It may be a little ugly, yet also kind of interesting, and even beautiful in places now, but He knows the end from the beginning--another way of saying He knows how it will come out.
Meantime, I hope all of you, my loved ones, will be patient with me, too. I'm only a WIP in the hands of my Maker. So for now I say:
"UNDER CONSTRUCTION. THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATIENCE."