The box under the bed held remnants of a life I’d forgotten.
There were spelling tests and penmanship practice sheets and report cards. There were crayon drawings and birthday cards from grandparents and even an award for 2nd place in an elementary school sack race. More than likely, it was the last award I’d ever receive for any kind of athleticism. I really should frame it.
My mother has kept all these items in that box under the bed for years. And while I was home for Thanksgiving, I decided to dig through it. I sat on the floor in that bedroom for quite awhile, reliving memories I didn’t even know I had.
At the very bottom was something unexpected. An unfinished “paint-by-number” picture. Do kids even do paint-by-number anymore? Why would we have saved an unfinished painting? Did I plan to go back and fill in those numbers?
I think that maybe God wanted us to save it so that decades later it would remind me of how He works in my life.
I could tell it was going to be a picture of a big horse and a little horse. What little girl didn’t go through the “I want a horse” phase? The baby horse is almost filled in with paint. The mother horse has a way to go. And the background has an awful lot of empty numbers where paint should go eventually. Maybe I got bored with the leaf color.
I’m sure the finished picture would have been beautiful. But the fact that it’s unfinished holds the lesson.
Our lives unfold gradually,too. God fills in a spot here, a spot there. And sometimes it seems that we can’t see the big picture. We can’t figure out what all these little empty places will come together to be. They seem random. And it feels incomplete. We want to know the end of the story.
But this painting in a box under a bed reminded me that God is going to complete my painting in His way and in His time. He’s got a plan. He knows what the finished picture look like.
I think I’ll hang this picture up just like it is. And remember that He who began a good work in me will be faithful to complete it.
(from the archives – originally posted 11/28/12)
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10
Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; Philippians 1:6
The LORD will perfect that which concerns me;
Your mercy, O LORD, endures forever;
Do not forsake the works of Your hands. Psalm 138:8