Artwork by Carole L. Haines
By: Carole L. Haines
When I was younger, I had big dreams, big ideas of becoming more than I am now.
I pictured myself becoming a Masterpiece in the hands of the Master. A Beautiful Sculpture, intricately fashioned, or perhaps a Painted Canvas with the Natural Beauty of a Forest enclaved waterfall. I certainly didn’t expect life to go the way it did. I have so much to be grateful for, and I am so very grateful. But I needed God to make me His own vessel, not my idea of His vessel. Perhaps some would see my life and think, “It’s such a shame, so much potential. Too bad this or that happened to her.” I used to think that way, and self-pity bloomed in my garden like a festering weed, choking out the life of the Truly useful plants. I spiraled down into a place of aloneness, comforting myself with the facts that I had a wonderful husband, three precious children and a God who loved me. I settled into my day to day life, with most thoughts of fruitfulness cast aside, regrets festering and spoiling many of the joys I daily experienced.
Many of my girlhood dreams had shattered, even grown-up dreams shattered as well. My details are not needed because we tend to compare war-wounds and that is not the point here. God brought me to a verse years ago, that just changed my life and began to birth in me a new perspective that I believe I should share. Perhaps it will bless some of you as He used it to bless me in one of my most bewildering and troubling trials. It’s tucked into a story in the Bible that is not often mentioned in sermons. Come to think of it, never in a single sermon have I heard this story talked about. It’s the story of Absalom, and David’s mistreatment of his son. The whole story is found in 2 Samuel 14. Please take the time to read the whole story, it is quite intriguing. But for our purposes I will just reveal the verse and what it has come to mean to me.
14 All of us must die eventually. Our lives are like water spilled out on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. But God does not just sweep life away; instead, he devises ways to bring us back when we have been separated from him.
2 Samuel 14:14 (NLT)
When I first came upon this verse, I felt my life was ruined. As I said earlier, I gave up my dreams of being fruitful for God. I just began to live a life of taking care of my family, growing up my children and settling in. Life had crushed me by blows, one after another, after another. Like waves crashing over me that nearly drowned me and made it hard for me to even catch my breath. I was surprised to wake up and find I was still here, still alive. With all that had passed before me, I wasn’t sure I really wanted to be. When I asked God to take me home, He said that only one death was necessary, His. He wanted me to live and tell others my story and how He rescued me and has given me new life. My life did fill like the verse above says, “Water spilled out on the ground that cannot be gathered up again.”
But truly God does not just sweep life away. He does not give up on us. He never leaves us nor forsakes us. Some of the things that happened, God could have prevented, really all of them, but He didn’t. He let things go the way they did.
God does not always save us from our fears, sometimes He saves us through them. We live through something we dreaded, something we were afraid of, and we find He is faithful in the loss of those dreams. I love how the verse says. “Instead, He devises ways to bring us back when we have been separated from Him.” God was active in the trials I was going through. He was devising a way, not just sitting by watching it all unfold and hoping for the best. I have given God all the broken pieces of my life, the shattered shards and jewels of a life as I thought it should be, a life as it used to be. He has, and is, making a beautiful Mosaic Display of it. I never became a Masterpiece, but I am a Precious and brightly colored mosaic on the Art-Wall of God. Isn’t He just so good? Mosaics are my favorite works of art now, simply because I have become one