I remember the treasured, yet exhausting, days when my girls were toddlers. It rings true…the days were long but the years were short. With my second child, I had the privilege of being home with her several days out of the week. Those days were filled with trips to the library, the park, the zoo, and craft time at home. I think back to the moments when I would build up just enough energy at the end of the day to provide some time to paint, draw, sculpt, or watercolor. I was a tired mama who wanted to rest but I knew this was the highlight of her day. We would set up some brushes, grab a cup of water, cover the table and with anticipation her innocent hands would swipe the paper with bright colors. She would tell me of the rainbows and the characters she was creating. Next we would move on to the creatures and items that she would create with her play-doh. Through my eyes, all I could see was a blob but to her she saw a masterpiece. I accumulated lots and lots of these bright colored papers and a few play-doh figurines. As the years passed those scraps of paper evolved to canvases, pottery, short-stories, and plays. Now we have a full wall adorned with work from my 2 favorite artists, my daughters.
As I reflect on this wall, I realize that my daughters did not hide or critique their work. Their creativity was exhibited with awe and pride. They wanted the beautiful creation displayed for all guest to see. Thinking back to their vulnerability, I am reminded of how God desires for us to show the beauty and gifts that He has provided within us. We are surrounded by God’s art. He provides landscapes, sunsets, flowers, animals, songs, writing, and the list goes on. God isn’t shameful of displaying His great works. No…they are placed in every detail surrounding us. Stop what you are doing and look around at all of His creations.
We learn in Exodus that the Spirit of God is not only full of wisdom, understanding, knowledge but also of artistic skills. (“…and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills—to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood and to engage in all kinds of artistic crafts.” Exodus 35:31-33.) Wow! Even you and I have the ability to tap into that very same gift of skill and confidence the God placed in the vulnerable child putting up the scribbles for the world to see. I honestly am digging deep to even write this devo. This is not my comfort zone but I have been called write, a new layer in my identity. What new layer of beauty does He have hidden in you? When faced with something unfamiliar we tend to feel scared and anxious. Years of rejection and disapproval tarnishes our thoughts. “I have never written before.” “What if mine isn’t as good as hers?” “This just isn’t my cup of tea.” As adults we tend to compare our talents, looking horizontally at others for approval and our skills. But God calls us to look vertically to Him alone for admiration and our abilities. Ah. What a relief.
I’ll close with the gentle reminder to take a close look at those little ones. They do not boast with pride because of their own ability but because of the confidence God planted inside them. "He is the potter and we are the clay. We are all a work of His hand.” – Isaiah 64:8. I hope you can open your hands and let go of insecurities that hold you back from expressing His beauty. Allow Him to surprise you by molding a work that you will confidently display for all the world to see.