Because of a global pandemic, I have spent a lot of time at home the past 5 months. I’ve read numerous books, listened to countless podcasts, completed several puzzles, spent hours on Zoom, watched way too much Netflix, and I even took 3 months of online guitar lessons.
While everyone else was ordering toilet paper and Clorox wipes online, I decided to order my first Paint By Number canvas. There are hundreds of beautiful paintings to choose from. The concept seems simple – match the numbered paints to the numbered areas on the canvas.
The company’s website says, “Relieve stress and reveal your creative side.” Apparently, lots of other people were also feeling the stress of the pandemic, because sales on their website drastically increased and it took over 2 months for my canvas to arrive.
When it finally came, I was so excited to begin painting....until I opened the package and saw the canvas. I immediately felt overwhelmed, as I saw hundreds of tiny areas to paint. Some of the areas were so small that I could barely see the numbers.
I reminded myself that this was considered a “Beginners” painting, but it didn’t look easy. Then I looked at the tiny paint containers that were provided, and I wondered if I would need more paint.
I wasn’t sure where to begin, so I asked one of my sisters for advice, as she has worked on a Paint By Number canvas. She suggested I begin on one side of the painting and then move across the canvas. Otherwise, the paint will smear.
I turned on some music, picked up one of my paintbrushes, and began painting. Each day I painted for about an hour. I focused on one small area at a time, and as the days went by, it became easier to see the bigger picture.
Instead of feeling overwhelmed, I started to look forward to painting every day. When I was listening to music and focusing on the colors on the canvas, I wasn’t thinking about the pandemic. Painting became a peaceful escape from reality.
If our life was a Paint By Number canvas, thousands of smaller areas would be needed to create our painting. Each area would represent an important event or moment in our life.
Right now, the pandemic seems to be taking up a huge part of my painting because that’s the section I’m currently focused on. The dark colors easily smear into other areas nearby.
However, if I were able to zoom out and look at my entire canvas, I would be able to see that this current moment in time is really just one small area of my painting. Thousands of other areas are also on my canvas, and each one is perfectly placed by the artist.
I can’t always see the big picture, but I trust that God can.
He’s an amazing artist.
One of His favorite techniques is to make light shine through the darkness.
If your canvas is full of dark colors, have faith that God is still painting.
He paints one section at a time, and the bright colors could be next.
“For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10
I'm an ordinary introvert who loves an extraordinary God.