Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Another Kind of Painting

      Oil painting is rather forgiving. The paint does not dry quickly, so you can continue to move it around until it is satisfactory. If that does not suit, the paint can be lifted off by pressing a paper towel onto the canvass, or by simply wiping it off. The latter option generally leaves smudges of color, but it works. If the oil paint happens to be water mixable oil, the situation is even better. The paint can basically be washed away. If all of that is of no avail, the paint can be left to dry, and painted over with a new layer. 

      Painting is time consuming. A picture is not made in an instant, or a moment, but with persevering care, over a longer period of time. Sometimes the canvass must be laid aside until it is ready for the next step. It is not forgotten, progress is still being made. The apparent delay is in truth the next step toward completing the picture. 

      At other times the artist must work persistently until a certain portion of the picture is complete so that it will dry at the same time. It cannot be left aside for another day without risking defects in the final product. It must be done now, it cannot be delayed.

      There is another kind of painting. “Christ is sitting for His portrait in every disciple. Every one God has predestined to be “conformed to the image of His Son.” Romans 8:29. In every one Christ’s long-suffering love, His holiness, meekness, mercy, and truth are to be manifested to the world.” - {DA 826.3} Our blessed Savior is waiting for His “character to be perfectly reproduced” on the canvass of His people, then “He will come to claim them as His own.” - {COL 69.1} This work takes time. “Sanctification is not the work of a moment, an hour, a day, but of a lifetime. It is not gained by a happy flight of feeling, but is the result of constantly dying to sin, and constantly living for Christ.” - {AA 560.3}

      To those who in sincerity ask of God, as did the psalmist, that He would “Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” Psalm 51:7, the Lord answers, “I will; be thou clean.” Mark 1:41 God knows how to clean the canvass of your life. He knows what kind of paint has been used; He knows how to wash away the smudges; He knows how to use the colors that have shaped your life, and the circumstances that have formed your personality to express a fuller portrait of Himself. The picture that I have been painting is not perfectly reproduced. There is work yet to be done. It will take time. Even so, God has work to do in my heart and yours. It will take time, but faithful is He which began a portrait of Himself in our lives, to complete it. 

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