Tonight I was listening to a teaching by Chip Ingram called "You're a masterpiece in the making."
I've often thought of the Lord as an artist... I mean, look at all the beauty around us! I definitely wasn't expecting a humorous vision about this though.
Ever heard of the "free-will" or "pre-destination" debate?
Well, this vision gave me a little different view of that topic. Not so much about which one is right or which one is wrong, but how they're used together perfectly in the grand scheme of things...
It was like I was standing behind Jesus as He was happily painting a beautiful nature scene onto a canvas with an easel. It was a painting representing the beautiful plan He had for someone's life (we'll just say it was yours). There were beautiful trees and a river winding about and mountains in the background & a clear blue sky, but every now and then He'd add something in that He hadn't originally intended. "Oh, ok we can put this tree over here instead..." this constant loving compromise went on throughout the entirety of your life & the canvas became a very large, intricate, & beautiful masterpiece over time...
...and then there was an odd splotch painted in the middle that really didn't seem to make any sense. There seemed to be a pause... and then Jesus smiled & said, "that's ok... lets just make that into a bird!" (I kid you not - like totally Bob Ross style!) I couldn't help but giggle a bit at the Lord's humor. :)
God has given us the right to make our own choices. He won't force us to love or serve Him because He wants family, not robots. Love is patient, kind, & is not self-seeking... you know the drill. With free-will comes mistakes... human error... a separation from God (aka: sin). So then what?
The Lord's original plan for mankind did not include sin.
We brought that element into the equation (remember the garden?). Because He is just, the sin we invited in was allowed & mankind was no longer allowed inside the garden. Because of His love, He sent His Son Jesus Christ to be the atonement for mankind - bridging the gap between God & man. Because of His grace, He redeems & transforms us from whatever we've been through (kinda like that mess-up in the painting being changed into a bird)! I'm so thankful for my God... my Redeemer :) Amen.