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Lessons In Waiting From A Paint Brush

Sometimes all you have is the paintbrush in your hand.


 I stood in front of the small fence that runs across our front yard.  There were a lot a things that I didn’t know yesterday.  But whether or not this fence needed a little paint was not one of them.

I knew what I needed to do.

The fence told me with its faded spots worn by years of sprinkler water and California sun.  It looked parched and a little sad and I swore I saw it smile when I came towards it with my brush and a gallon of Oxford Brown solid stain.

Clad in less than flattering paint-spattered overalls, I set my mind to the tedious task of what was necessary.  What the fence needed me to do.

With recent doors of opportunity that have closed at the Jarvis residence, there are still some gates that appear to be slightly ajar.  Much like the gates of that weather weary fence.

I began to see painting as an analogy for this waiting game.

God hasn’t shown us the whole picture of the future ahead.  I don’t know even what tomorrow holds. But I do know this:

God always makes it plenty clear what I’m supposed to do today.

Sometimes it’s people He brings across my path that need a listening ear or a small word of encouragement.  Some days it’s writing when He brings lessons or aha moments that move my heart to show through my fingers.

Most days it’s the mundane necessities of real life that need tending.

And yesterday it was painting.

Now painting might not sound like much in the realm of all things important, but in the process of  getting a house ready to put on the market (our venture in testing an opportunity “gate”), it was one thing that I could do toward our goal.  One thing that would be in the best interest of moving closer to that half-way open gate of opportunity.

Suddenly, I didn’t have to know the future because I knew that what I was doing in the present was good.

So I cranked up my music and asked Jesus to paint with me.  I asked Him to join me in this waiting, understanding that He knows which of the “gates” on this fence, if any, will really prove to be open.

It was a much longer process than I anticipated, this painting of the fence.  Much like the waiting itself.  But it suddenly had more meaning which led me to actually enjoy it even in its tediousness.  And when it was finished, I stood before it in my huge painty overalls and smiled.

That fence looked pretty. dang. great.

Today is a new day.  So far, I don’t know any more than I did yesterday.  But my fence is painted.  I finished what I knew I needed to do.  I took another step toward a potential open gate. And if the gate stays closed, I have a darn good-looking, freshly painted fence.

Who knew a paint brush could be the tool God would use to speak comfort and truth to me?

Today might be a day of discovering an “open gate”.  It might just be another day of “painting”.  It doesn’t matter.  Because if I can embrace today and what He shows me for this 24 hour period, I can have the confidence that He will do the same again tomorrow.  And the next day.  And the next.

What can YOU lean into today when you don’t know your tomorrow?

Are there areas of life where you (like me) are so preoccupied with potential “open gates” that you miss the daily “painting” opportunities in the waiting?

What does God want to join you in TODAY?

I would love to hear encouraging “paint brush” stories that God is using in your life to remind you that He holds your future, but also relishes your today.

Psalm 118:24 – This is the day the LORD has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.

Matthew 6:34 – So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Matthew 6:25-26 – For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?

Isaiah 41:13 – For I hold you by your right hand–I, the LORD your God. And I say to you, ‘Don’t be afraid. I am here to help you.


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