“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body” (2 Corinthians 4:8-10).
Have you ever thought about the amount of paint it took to cover the Cysteine Chapel, the massive canvases hanging on the walls at the Detroit Institute of Arts, or on the walls at your school? Or the number of hours clean up took?
How many paint brushes? How much water, soap, and turpentine were required to bring the finished product about? If there were tubes of paint involved, did they like being squished and squeezed? Did they think it was worth it?
The finished product dominates history. We don’t hear about what Mother Theresa was like as a baby. We don’t hear about what men, women and even children have gone through to bring them to the point of living grace so loud that it cannot be silenced. Hebrews 11 talks of people being sawed in two and that the world wasn’t worthy of them.
Through illness I have been poked, prodded, injected, and dejected. Like paint, I’ve been squeezed and simply exposed.
Is that not when colors are best seen? We can trust that our Painter is exposing us, lifting us onto His brush, placing us in the intense pressure between the bristles and the canvas for something more beautiful that we can imagine (Ephesians 3:20-21).
As a teacher I love to know the process my student went through, not just their answer or finished work. There are so many things that are simply amazing about the Teacher I am loved by.
He not only wants to know the process, He started it and He is in it. He has the end result in mind. He knows where I struggle and what I am holding on to that I need to let go of. He hasn’t left me to struggle alone. No, He has been working all along.
“Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6).
Why does God allow pressures and even pain in this life?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank You that You are aware of all that is going on in my life right now. I’m so glad that You are with me and that You always finish the work you begin! Amen.
About the author:
Becky Elie lives in the Midwest and enjoys spending time with family. She was diagnosed with tuberculosis (TB) while teaching in Asia and is well after many months of medication and God’s care. She is learning that it is in her weaknesses that God’s strength is made known. Becky enjoys painting, photography, and learning more about living for Christ.
Is the pressure of your illness being used for something beautiful?
I recently discovered artist Ellie Holcomb and love the lyrics behind this song, “The Broken Beautiful.” It has a catchy tune and very honest lyrics. I hope you love it too. -Lisa