Sitting in my studio this past week, contemplating what to work on, I stared at 3 unfinished pieces that have sat there half done for almost a year. Yes, that’s right… a whole year. Have you ever put a project or something on the back-burner so long that you forget about it? Or let time slip by so long you have no motivation to finish what you started? New, fresh ideas take over that seem better or more important, so the old just sits unfinished.
As I stared at those paintings, something came over me to get them done. I had a sudden burst of energy to revisit the unfinished work and complete it.
I believe everything we do, every moment really, can be a chance to learn and grow when we take a look at it from heaven’s perspective. What is the Lord saying to me about this circumstance? I’ve learned that God is constantly speaking to us in every moment if we learn to hear Him. So, I asked, “What happened to these paintings I was once so excited to paint? Where did the lack of motivation and focus go that I neglected them for a year?” I stared at “Restored Beauty” the grey background with a sketch of antlers in white paint. The larger canvas with a blue background and a simple sketch of another antler, sat beside it. That was as far as I got. Starring at canvases with sketches of bones.
I remembered back to my initial plan to complete the paintings… I planned to do a series of antler paintings adorned with blossoming, beautiful flowers. When I started the paintings a year ago, antlers were quite popular in decorating and design, you would see them everywhere. Then the Lord reminded me of why I neglected them; I had a different mindset of looking at them from a worldly perspective. I had a fear that I wouldn’t be original enough because they were so popular, even though I loved the look. I over thought them to the point of not finishing them, because I was afraid to paint a subject matter that was trendy. Isn't that so silly?
Boy have I come along way from that thinking… now I just do. I look at things from a different perspective. It doesn’t matter what things look like on the outside, if they are "trendy" or not, it’s the meaning that makes the difference. The timing to revisiting these paintings were perfect.
"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will." (Romans 12:2)
Recently the Lord has been speaking to me about restoration. It is the subject that keeps coming back to me over and over. How He is restoring all things, making old things new. I have dreams and ideas of this very subject written in my journal over the past several months. As I looked at the subject matter of the paintings I started, antlers with intensions of adding beautiful flowers to them… the Lord lead me to Ezekiel 37, along with many other verses in the Bible about restoration. He spoke to me about the strength and dominion of the Kingdom of Heaven being restored, new life sprouting out of dry bones. My sudden burst of energy to finish what I had intended with these paintings a year ago was the Holy Spirit giving me new eyes to see what He is saying. He ministered to my heart with the hope we have in Him as I layered pinks and greens of new life onto the canvas.
The initial motivation for painting these were just because I wanted a set of antlers on my wall, but I didn’t feel connected, obviously not enough to follow through with them to finish. But now I see the paintings in a whole new way…
As a representation of restoring old bones, adorning them into something new. From death to life.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
God restores. He beautifully weaves restoration into the lives of those who allow Him to work.
This is my collection of restoration.
“and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes,” (Isaiah 61:3)
“After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.” (1 Peter 5:10)
"Restored Hope" - 11"x 14"
"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." (Romans 15:13)
"Restore to me the joy of Your salvation And sustain me with a willing spirit." (Psalm 51:12)
"The hand of the Lord was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the Lord and set me in the middle of a valley; it was full of bones. He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.”
Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life." (Ezekiel 37:1-10)
Reflecting on this subject of restoration, I found myself in a posture of thankfulness of all God has restored to me over the past two years. He has restored every area of my life in some form. I am honestly amazed at some of the miracles in my life in such a short time. It's exciting that restoration is a process and more is yet to come!
Today I pray that each one of you are encouraged by God's restoring power through the Holy Spirit. He is restoring all things. We are in an exciting time of restoration.
I also encourage you that there is nothing that can't be restored, revisited, revived. Projects, ideas and passions from the past that have been neglected can be re-visited and completed. Time doesn't matter. You may just discover treasures you didn't see before. The gold underneath that launches you to a new level of inspiration and breakthrough. It's there. We all have hidden treasures waiting to be uncovered. All it takes is a little action and faith to find them.