They were beautiful! A brand new box of pastels, my drawing medium of choice, lay on the table beside my blank drawing paper. The crisp and neat pastels, arranged in color order, were ready to be used. Like a child with a box of new crayons, I just wanted to look at them for a moment before I began. While I was admiring them, my college instructor stopped in front of my work area, picked up one of my pastels, and snapped it into pieces. My heart almost stopped. I wanted to shout, “What do you think you are doing?” He must have seen the outburst in my expression, for his quiet, authoritative voice explained, “They are easier to use when broken.” HIs advice, based on years of experience, was sound: they were easier to use when broken into pieces.
We are the tools the Master Artist wishes to use to do His work. So many times we want to stay whole, like my unused pastels in their box, but that is not our purpose. Yes, we can be used in that form, but not as effectively as when we are broken and fully surrendered to Him.
As I looked at my own box of pastels recently, I realized that the many colors in the box could also represent the different areas of one’s life. As a whole, the pastels appear to be well-used, but a closer look shows that some are still unused, while others have been broken many times and used often. Similarly, we may appear to be fully surrendered to Him, but closer examination may reveal areas that have not yet been broken for His use and purpose.
In the end, I want each pastel in the box of my life to be broken and well-used by the Master to create a beautiful masterpiece.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24
Written by Ruth Hawkins. This article was published in the Winter 2006 edition of The Beautiful Spirit magazine.
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