Anyone who really knows me can tell you that I love making lists. Some of the best gifts I've received have been pads of paper which seem to be waiting to be blessed by my next bit of brilliance or, more often, by strokes of the mundane and material that crowd my mind like...errands. I'm not sure why detailing brings me such delight but it does. The funny thing is that I still nearly always forget something, and it is usually the most crucial of all. Isn't that how it goes?
There is not much I can say that I have "mastered." Okay, maybe only one thing that would even come close, but trust me, "mastery" is the poorest of words to describe my fumbling attempts. Despite years of studying Spanish, I lack the fluency that would shock a native speaker, unlike my Dad and Grandpa. I remember being close once, and I could tell it was within my tongue's grasp when my dreams began to take on the dialect, albeit at a snail's pace. But alas (or was it hallelujah?), my family returned to the United States, and I was free from having to actually integrate the idiom of the island into my interactions.
In case you haven't figured it out, I am an artist. Now, I can't speak for all artists, but for myself, the idea part of the whole process actually yields the greatest joy. Then, comes...well, quite honestly, then comes torture. The torture of execution (Enjoy that wordplay for a moment. I did. ). In order for the vision to become a reality, certain actions must be taken. If I do nothing, well, then I have sent the idea straight to the grisly guillotine. And yes, my mind has many a tombstone marked "Died Before It Saw Light."
So, why am I telling you all of this? Because I see how often I fail to be thorough. I carry so few things through until completion. I fail to remember and recall details, and the only thing I suppose I am absolute about is truth. No matter how hard I try I just keep right on being imperfect, less than, sub par.
But then I look at HIM.
My God is so thorough that He always finishes what He starts (Phil 1:6).
My God is so thorough that He covers my sin completely at the cross(Heb. 2:17).
My God is so thorough that He saves to the uttermost because He continues forever (Heb. 7:25).
My God is so thorough that He satisfies like the richest of food (Ps. 63:5).
My God is so thorough that His death abolished sin forever (1 Cor. 15:56-57).
My God is so thorough that even His PATIENCE is perfect (1 Tim. 1:16).
My God is so thorough that no detail escapes His attention (Heb. 4:13).
And that is just the beginning. My God is the Master because He literally invented everything; so of course He masters it (whatever it is) like none other, and because even death had no dynamite power over Him (Acts 2:24).
Can I get a hallelujah?!!!!!
So guess what, this THOROUGH MASTER lives IN me. When His DEFT SKILLS reign in me, what could not be accomplished? I mean, seriously, IF GOD IS FOR US, WHO CAN BE AGAINST US? Is not my heart safe in the hands of such a MASTER ARTIST who will mold it after His own heart? His thoroughness proves He will never leave or forsake because IT IS LITERALLY AGAINST HIS NATURE.
What a mighty God I serve!
Amen and amen.
From as far back as I can remember, I have been excited by little things. When I love a product, I rave about it. When I'm happy, it's not hard to figure out. When I'm upset, yeah, watch out. If someone would say something hurtful about me or something I love, I didn't exactly process it very well, My poor mother would have to deal with it, cleaning my pouty, moody mess of a self off the floor, with her tender words: "Brittany, stop being so sensitive." She knew just what I needed to hear, or so I grasped later in life. (At the time, I rewarded her sage counsel with more pathetic tears or angry retorts. Sorry about that, Mom.) Around people I was upbeat but in retrospect, I do think I spent more time exercising those frowing muscles than the smiling ones. I don't know who is to blame but somehow I began to perceive that my exaggerated behavior was not acceptable.
Coupled with my genetic predisposition toward theatrics were many physical location changes as we moved to different parts of the country due to my Dad receiving various promotions within his company. This only served to stir my emotional pot. Thankfully, the Lord had given me grace through faith early on in life, or I may have struggled more with how to cope in the face of what often felt like my world was being decimated. He enrolled me at Emotions University, and has been schooling me on sentiments, ever training me to trust Him by yielding up my bubbling, broken, disappointed, despairing, ecstatic, fervent heart to Him.
Despite years of honing my built-in "skill", I continue to discover new facets to being dramatic. In fact, recently in dawned on me that God can totally use what I had begun to see as a weakness as the exact opposite. He created me this way. Huh. That must mean He knows things about myself that I don't. How often we are wrong about ourselves! How much we need to seek Him for His definition of who we are as we keep our eyes fixed on the Master Artist! How delightfully whimsical He is to continue to surprise us even as He humbly corrects our wrong thoughts of Him!
His process lately in my life has been unexpected. The thing is, He knows I actually LIKE it when things are unpredictable and spontaneous. One of my favorite things about God is that He creates new things, and if I want my life to be evidence of His Person, then I want Him to have permission to do what He wants in my life. You see, this move to California, this particular transition, there have been lessons I so wanted to learn, character traits I had set out ready for Him to develop. I thought I would be learning humility, contentment, gratefulness and generosity. But the person He is revealing that He is developing is actually going to be more patient, one who endures, even someone with integrity. It's not that those other things aren't happening, but adjusting my expectations to what He is actually doing is SO refreshing. He is surprising me by what He is actually capable of doing in me so that He can do things through me.
So, to make being dramatic an actual art form, we must first appreciate that He Himself is dramatic, making grand gestures of love on our behalf, wooing us to a deeper relationship with Him. Secondly, we must be reeducated, paying attention as He teaches us who He is revealing Himself to be through us. As that happens, we also start to see what kind of character He is developing us to be. I want to be a character in His story who has character not merely one playing a role.
Thank you Lord, for loving us with such flair. You love us in such big ways. I confess that sometimes I look at you through my flawed understanding of man and my warped view of you gets in the way of seeing you as the awesome, holy, amazing One who is worthy to be both feared and adored. Grant us a deeper appreciation of your creativity, and help us be patient as you show us who you have made us to be (the ways You are reflecting Your glory in us).
Brittany Van Ryn
Working out thoughts with HIM.