Posted by: Derek Guyer | September 28, 2012

Perspective: The Master at Work

I have gone through some interesting changes in my life recently. They have been both challenging and encouraging. Both overwhelming and enlightening. Both horrifying and lovely.

Ever since I was a child, I had a unique gift to take a pencil and bring a piece of paper to life through illustrations. I could draw most anything and it didn’t take much effort on my part. It was clearly a gift. For numerous reasons, though, I have never taken that gift as something that I needed to seriously pursue. In fact, I was always discouraged from using it seriously because of the whole “starving artist” idea.

I haven’t used this gift in about 10 years, but recently God has opened a door for me to unexpectedly use it again. It started when I was cutting a peace of leather and accidentally scratched it with my knife and noticed that the color changed. From that scratch, a leather feather was made that looked rather life-like, and my interest was sparked. I was moved by the simplicity of using something totally different to create something so unique.

Through a series of God-orchestrated events, I found myself creating pictures on leather that were pretty cool. I would laugh as details would pop out of the leather and this lifeless medium came to life once-again.

So, you may be asking me what this has to do with you. What does this have to do with me, my home, my life before God? To that I simply say, it is all about perspective.

See, I have a tendency to be a little bit ADD. I’m not diagnosed with it, but I definitely lack the attention span to accomplish a task at times. So, as I’m etching, I lose attention quickly. I lose interest. I start working on an area in the etching and can see it coming to life, but then when I back up away from that piece of leather, I see the whole thing and begin losing heart. I seriously want to quit etching and do something else. The problem only compounds when I make a mistake on the leather.

But, I never quit. I can see the potential of what could happen to the leather, and I’m not willing to quit. Mistakes or not, I don’t know what it will all look like, but I just keep scratching out the dyes. I keep a close eye on the image I’m etching and constantly work to ensure that every scratch will match the image I’m recreating on the leather. Every mistake is accounted for and covered with another stroke to ensure that the picture is as I want it to be.

While this is happening, my hand really begins hurting. The muscles in my fingers, palm, wrist, and forearm all begin aching. I constantly have to stop and stretch out that hand to ensure I’m getting good blood flow and do not begin cramping. The cramping in my hand can be extremely painful and shut me down for quite a while if I’m not consistent with the stretching.

As I persevere, things really begin taking on life, and I begin enjoying the realities of that image appearing in the hide.

If I’m willing to fight through my frustrations and constantly changing feelings, I get to be a part of something really amazing. If I take one stroke of my knife at a time, the leather becomes my picture of God’s perfect work in my life.

Maybe that seems like a strange parallel to you, but I see the struggles of life in a very similar way. I think most of us become so absorbed in our struggles that we lose sight of a much bigger picture. We see the struggles with such finality and miss the Master Artists’s hand. As brush strokes of absolute brilliance pass over the canvas’ of our lives and the greatest Creator of all time creates the times of our lives, we often get so caught up in one stroke of His work that we forget the broader picture of which we have no understanding.

I’ve done this over and over again. In fact, I’m doing it again this morning. I’m caught up in a struggle of this life that in my flesh and strength feels so insurmountable. But, I am not the Master. And frankly, my place is not in knowing how things will turn out. He never asked me to solve my problems. Jesus asked me to lay them on Him.

I do not know what the canvas of my life will look like when this is all finished and I take my last breath, but I don’t need to know. I don’t need to worry about tomorrow’s problems. I know the Greatest Creator ever. I know He has the ability to paint, etch, sketch, and create well beyond my wildest imagination. He sees a bigger picture than we do. While I don’t believe He makes mistakes, I do, and as a Master Artist, He covers them up…with His blood.

When the worries of tomorrow began choking out your ability to deal with today, I encourage you to take a deep breath and be still. Your life is not your own. We are, as the old cliche’ states, on borrowed time. Let the Creator have final say in the worries and struggles of your heart. You are not finished.

So, my fear still stands in this moment as I type this out. But, I’m resolved to persevere. I’m resolved to trust. I’m resolved to let the Master work. Join me.

If you’re interested, you can check out some of my etchings here.

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