Saturday, April 3, 2010

#61 Beautiful Chaos

Romans 8:28 "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."

I recently had some painting done at our home while my wife was away visiting family in North Carolina. We live in a rented home that was built in 1901. The three bedroom house is full of character with its wide wood moldings and its field stone exterior. When we first saw it I loved it and knew that was where I wanted to live.

Despite how much we like our little place, it has needed a few modern conveniences added to it. The landlord agreed to buy a dishwasher if I would install it so I did. A friend and church member came out and reworked the cabinets to accommodate a dishwasher and he even did a new counter-top and back splash. They turned out great. The next touch we needed was some new paint. I asked another friend and member to come help with the painting. She does great work with painting and has a knack for doing rag painting.

Rag painting is accomplished by first painting the wall a base color and then taking a wadded up rag and dabbing it all over the base coat with a color that is just slightly different. I was amazed the first time I saw it done at our Mount Pleasant church. A flat lifeless wall comes to life when the "ragging" is done over the top of the base coat. Walls with slight imperfections are perfect candidates for ragging because the variations in the ragged pattern trick the eyes into seeing only the beautiful finish that is created. I am amazed at how beauty comes out of the seeming chaos of just dabbing an old piece of t-shirt dipped in paint over the wall. At first it looks like the wall is being ruined by a rag dabbed all over it, but in short order the wall comes to life and beauty is added to your space.

These recent changes in our home have caused me to think about our lives. Each of our lives have a "base coat" of our existence so to speak. Each is colored by our experiences; good and bad. As we experience life there are also all sorts of things that get "dabbed" onto us; some good and some bad. Often times the events of life are very chaotic and confusing. Apart from Christ those events can seem to lead us nowhere, but with Christ those chaotic events can become way-marks of how Jesus has led us.

No, I am not saying that God is chaotic and His ways make no sense to us. I am saying that in life crazy things happen and even when crazy, chaotic things happen God has the awesome ability to take those situations and allow good to come out of it. Just as beauty emerges from the dabbing of paint from a rag over a base coat of paint on a wall, if you and I surrender our lives to Christ fully He can take our life of chaos and turn it into something beautiful. No, God does not desire for us to suffer but as long as Satan is in the world there will be suffering, but I praise God that He is greater than Satan by far and our God can turn around those bad situations we experience and give us beauty from chaos.

My challenge to each of you today is to stop trying to manage life by yourself. Stop striving and going in circles apart from God and surrender it all to Him today. I promise you that you will not be disappointed with the results.

Dear Father God,

Thank You for Your goodness and mercy. Thank You for taking the chaos of our lives and making it into something beautiful. Teach us to surrender everything to You each today and to trust in Your goodness. We praise You and thank You in Jesus lovely name, Amen.

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