Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Giving Glory

I painted this in 2005 shortly after a break up. I was desperate for my life to reflect God's glory. I have always found a catharsis in painting, so I went to it! I found a short, God-glorifying verse and worked around that. A month later, I bounced back into life, rarely looking back at the pain that motivated this piece of art.

Little did I know that six years later, this painting would take on a new meaning.

The verse is John 12:28. The passage surrounding it describes Jesus' prayer a few days before he was crucified. He says this starting in John 23:

"The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. The man who loves his life will lose it, while he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me.

"Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!"

Here's the skinny on these verses - Jesus knows what He's about to go through. It's betrayal, torture, death by suffocation in a humiliating way on the cross. He knows all this, and He's not too excited about it, but He submits to God's will knowing that He must die so that we can live. Pretty heavy.

How does that affect my painting?

I was sitting in church listening to a sermon on this, and it hit me. I hate what I'm going through. I don't like infertility. It's pretty bad. But what shall I say, "Father, save me from this hour?" I have been saying that, a lot. I need to be saying, "Father, glorify your name!"

Maybe it is for this hour that I have come. I believe that God purposed for me to go through this trial, and I believe it's for my good and [hopefully] the good of those around me.

It's a tiny analogy - Jesus' death on the cross and my infertility - but it's profound to me.

I painted that six years ago, not knowing what trials were ahead. I certainly never planned this one. But God knew. He's been preparing me for it, and working in my heart through it. Six months ago, I would not have been able to say, "Father, glorify your name," without the caveat, "by giving me children."

I can say it now. I can say it without a caveat. I believe He has a plan, that may actually be better in the long run if I don't have kids right now (which is good, because I don't have them right now).
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