The bold black ink on white canvas caught my eye. As I walked under the shaded outdoor patio of Elevate coffee, I noticed a girl tracing the penciled words with a thin brush; “Wow, that’s beautiful,” I said. I took a closer look; the canvas read, “For I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content”.
“Can I take a picture of it?” I asked.
She said yes and I clarified, “I’d like to show it to my husband.” The phrase sounded pleasant though unfamiliar and I smiled. I stretched out my hand and introduced myself. My new friend’s name is Jasmin. I promised her I would return to see the finished product.
God has done this before. Once before Asa and I started dating, I was looking at his pottery on the shelves at Desert Dragon. He had carved around his vessel the words: “Now the Lord is the Spirit and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” The Lord had been speaking these words same words to my heart. He was using them to make me desire holiness and freedom from sin. Now, Asa and I had barely talked at this point. In fact, I had seen him throw and had not appreciated his work. It wasn’t until I saw his carved pottery that I realized how talented he is. A couple days later, I apologized to him, “I’m sorry, but I totally underestimated you,” I said. He smiled and proceeded to win my heart and marry me months later.
But the point of my story is that God speaks to us often through His Word and moreover, through art, which I love. When I saw Jasmin’s canvas, I saw God’s faithfulness. I know I can trust him. Despite the fact that, last night, my husband and I talked about silence, uncertainty and money, I know I cannot falter in my heart when it comes to God. Because he told me, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me”. He reminded me of his Word last night. And then, there it was today in black and white: “I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content”.
Inside of elevate, I found a friend from the ceramics studio. “I just saw Asa last night at the studio!” Heather hugged me and congratulated us. We sat on the couches near the window. On the other side friend continued working on her lettered canvas. I felt in my heart something/someone say, “That canvas is yours.” I continued to share pictures from the wedding. My friend and I chatted for a while until I finished my Mocha Frappuccino and she needed to leave to pick up her kids from school.
I returned to my new friend Jasmin on the other side of the glass. She was sitting with her finished canvas and her boyfriend, Washington. I asked her why she picked that verse in particular. “Sometimes God speaks a verse into my heart for that particular season of my life. This is a time of transition for me and I felt like this verse spoke to that.”
“I love it,” I said.
Washington handed me the canvas, “It’s yours.”
Dear Lord Jesus, I always underestimate you. I pray you continue to show me your faithfulness through your people, your Word and our art. Thank you because you are not silent. Give me ears to hear and eyes to see. In your name, Jesus, Amen.
“Not that I am speaking of being in need, for have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:11-13