Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Losing Control

The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” Romans 8:15 NIV

Recently, during a writers’ ministry retreat, a few artists taught art journaling. With blank canvasses, paint and a plastic Wal-Mart gift card before us, we squeezed three colorful blobs onto our pristine white canvasses. Hesitantly, we swirled those colors around with the Wal-Mart gift card. My beautiful blues, pinks and yellows turned murky green and I felt discouraged. Couldn’t we just clean off those gift cards and go shopping?

Since shopping wasn’t an option, I dropped a few more paint blobs on the canvass until more appealing shades appeared. Surprisingly, with a few controlled swishes, a pretty pink orchid blossomed, center canvass. I was so proud until the artists wanted us to encircle the center of our creations with black paint! I couldn’t do it. Truly, I couldn’t. Fear froze me there—eyes brimming with tears—staring at that beautiful-to-me orchid.

“Help me!” I sniffled, reaching behind me for my artist friend. She embraced me from behind and placed her hand over mine. “Give me control,” she said, “and when I say ‘squeeze’, squeeze that paint.” Feeling my hesitation, she gently circled my hand above that canvas and spoke truth. “You’re afraid of making a mistake. Now let go and squeeze when I say so.”

Yes, I was afraid of making a mistake, but I mostly feared losing control—risking what was sure, like my pretty pink orchid.

We can’t create when fear rules because fear freezes our potential and creativity. When we give God control and trust that He’s in the risk He’s set before us, our true creativity and beauty thrives. When we set aside fear and partner with the Holy Spirit then God’s Kingdom reigns here on earth as it is in heaven.

 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear... 1 John 4:18 NIV

Giving up control, black encircled the pink orchid, hiding its blooming beauty. With a bit more coaching and the addition of some contrasting colors and gift-card technique, a crown of thorns appeared. A most precious reminder, that Jesus is there in the midst of fear, creativity, and risks.

Are there risks that God’s set before you? Is fear squelching your creativity and freezing your feet in place? Trust God’s plan. Know that no matter the risk, Jesus is right there beside you, ready to help you create something beautiful.

Abba, it’s so easy to want to control our circumstances, to believe in what we can see as the best we have to offer. Help us to step out in faith, to take risks so that you might show us the potential and beauty that lies before us when we allow you to control the outcome. Father, may we truly desire that your Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.

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