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Friday, October 28, 2016

Etched upon my heart

I am pleased to live how You want, my God. Your law is etched into my heart and my soul.  (Psalm 40:8 VOICE)
What is etched into your heart - into the fibers of your soul? The true answer to this question often comes when we are put to the test when we are at our weakest point physically, are tired and have endured all manner of pretty frustrating events, or perhaps after a great emotional "high" on our way back down to equilibrium. The "stretch" placed on us in each of these moments is what often betrays the truth about how "pleased" we are to live as God wants us to live, doesn't it?
There is a type of art called crayon etching in which a person takes lighter colored crayons and colors "hard" on the paper - not necessarily in any specific "picture", but just to put the color on the paper in a pretty good "layer" of crayon. As the paper begins to fill up with color, it looks vibrant and pretty in a way. The next step is to take a big black crayon and color over every other color as darkly as you possibly can. When you have accomplished the obliteration of the vibrant colors with the black crayon, you pick up a popsicle stick or some sort of blunt edge object and then begin to "carve out" an illustration from the black covering. As you scratch the stick over the black what begins to be revealed is the beauty hidden beneath the surface. All that color placed there first is what shines through!
The same is true in our lives - although it isn't quite as simple as crayon drawing!  We get all manner of "vibrancy" added to our lives by the times we are filled up with God's presence, "colored upon" by his Word, and festooned with his grace. Then in almost imperceptible "obliterating" events, the black covers over these vibrant things - they are buried under the obstruction of the moments which seem to have eliminated all that vibrancy. But...as with our crayon etching above, as the surface begins to be scratched, pulling away a little of the darkness, the vibrancy placed there by the hand of the Master Craftsman shines through in beautiful majesty!
What was placed there first is important, but what gets revealed when the times seem the blackest is also equally as important. When the surface of darkness begins to be scratched, what does your life reveal? Is there evidence of having that magnificent "vibrancy" in your life? If there are blank spots where "color" has not been able to touch, the pulling back of the black only reveals the "blank space" where God's grace, love, peace, and presence desire to touch in order to give us that "vibrancy" throughout every "space" of our lives. In the sense of etching metal, it is the unprotected surface that begins to bear the image of that which comes into contact with it. The more contact we have with the hand of God, the more our lives will bear the image of the one who is creating beauty in the "plain" places of our lives. Just sayin!