Thursday, April 03, 2008

A Mistake

Over a hundred years ago, a group of fishermen were relaxing in the dining room of a Scottish seaside inn, trading fish stories. One of the men gestured widely, depicting the size of a fish that got away. His arm struck the serving maid's tea tray, sending the teapot flying into the whitewashed wall, where its contents left an irregular brown splotch.
The innkeeper surveyed the damage and sighed, "The whole wall will have to be repainted."
"Perhaps not," offered a stranger. "Let me work with it."
Having nothing to lose, the proprietor consented. The man pulled pencils, brushes, some jars of linseed oil, and pigment out of an art box. He sketched lines around the stains and dabbed shades and colors throughout the splashes of tea. In time, an image began to emerge: a stag with a great rack of antlers. The man inscribed his signature at the bottom, paid for his meal, and left. His name: Sir Edwin Landseer, famous painter of wildlife.
In his hands, a mistake became a masterpiece.
God's hands do the same, over and over. He draws together the disjointed blotches in our life and renders them an expression of his love. We become pictures: "examples of the incredible wealth of his favor and kindness toward us" (Eph 2:7)
Quoted from Max Lucado's "Come Thirsty"

It's easy for me to look at a big mistake I've made and think, "God can't do anything with me. I'm worthless. Nasty. Unusable."
But that's where God's light shines brightest. In the midst of my biggest, nastiest mistakes.
He can take those horrible things and make them a masterpiece.

A king who takes the neighbor's wife to bed then arranges to have the neighbor killed when the wife turns up pregnant? That's King David, called "The man after God's own heart."
A teenage girl who shows up pregnant before marriage? That's Mary, Jesus' mom.
A guy who gets so angry that he kills somebody 'accidently'? That's Moses, the guy God chose to lead the Jews out of captivity.
God makes miracles out of messes. Lights & leaders out of losers. Masterpieces out of mistakes.

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