[picture of the finished wall in our living room]
My husband and I had been wanting to paint the walls of our house into a different color. It might seem like a "foolish plan" to paint the walls when it still looks good, but painting a new color over it would make it more beautiful. When my son heard it, he got excited and wanted to help us out. So, off we went to the nearby home improvement store and got all the materials we needed. Choosing the color became easier as my son, also had given his input.
The plastic was laid all over the tile floors as my husband brought out the cans of paint and the brushes of different sizes. He put a scoop or two of the paint into the container with the handle and with the brush. He gave it to our son, not knowing what to do at first. Patiently, my husband and I guided him. Awkward with his strokes of going up and down, sometimes, sideways, the wall started to emerge in a different light.
“I’m sorry, mom and dad,” he uttered.
“Why?” my husband and I wondered with his apology.
“’Coz….I’m too slow. I had only painted a small area and I’ve been here for a few hours now.”
“Son,” I said without hesitating, “This is your first time to paint, don’t forget. Dad and I think you’re doing a great job because look! There was no splatter on the floor or anywhere else and look at your area, it might be small but it looks great because the paint is even. I would rather have you be slow but you’re getting the things done in proper way than be fast but messy and the wall would look with uneven layers of paint. You’re doing a good job! I love you.”
“Thanks mom and dad. I love you, too,” he replied.
The following day, my son was so confident and was ready to paint an area all to himself. He knew what to do now. And this was the wall he painted by himself and my husband and I were so proud of what he did as he learned patiently the day before. He might be a "beginner" in this project but putting his heart into it, learning patience and endurance at the same time, made him ready for the work that needed to be accomplished.
Laying on the couch, resting with sore shoulders, God brought something into my mind as I started to talk privately with Him. He has a painting project, too that’s been going on and we, His children, are also a part of it. We tend to be slow and awkward but He is always there, our Dad, guiding us, cheering for us.
When we splatter and mess up, He lovingly roots for us, despite our weaknesses. But when we triumphantly are able to accomplish things well, He is the first One to cheer. He is always faithful and patient and His “I love you’s” endures forever.
Look at Paul’s words from 1 Corinthians 1:25 -30:
25- “This “foolish” plan of God is far wiser than the wisest of human plans and God’s weakness is far stronger than the greatest of human strength. 26- “Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes, or powerful, or wealthy when God called you. 27- “Instead, God deliberately chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose those who are powerless to shame those who are powerful. 28- “God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important, 29- “so that no one can ever boast in the presence of God.” 30- “God alone made it possible for you to be in Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made Christ to be wisdom itself. He is the one who made us acceptable to God. He made us pure and holy, and he gave himself to purchase our freedom.”
Yes, God’s plan of salvation sounds “foolish” to those who don’t believe. But the “foolish” people who simply accept Christ’s offer are actually the wisest of all, because they will live eternally with God. God’s way of thinking is far above ours. We are not to value the “painters” more than what is “painted”. Christ’s painting project seems so “foolish” to you, who doesn’t believe. Our society worships power, influence and wealth. Jesus came as a humble, poor servant and he offers His Kingdom to those who have faith, not to those who do all kinds of good deeds to try to earn salvation. Christ is the mighty power of God and the only way we can be saved. Knowing Him personally is the greatest wisdom anyone of us, can ever have.
So, are you willing to join in and be a part of Jesus Christ’s painting project? Are you willing to trust in His plan and help out painting the walls of this earth?
The Attacker (5/15/09)
The sun was just peeking from the Eastern skies.
Out in the prison’s yard, some huge Sheriff’s buses were illuminated by the soft glow coming from the lights all over from the tall lamp posts. Their engines were turned on, warming up, before the buses would take the inmates to the different courts where they would have their trials.
Orange-uniformed men were lined up in pairs, joined together with handcuffs and chained, forming a long line. They already had their breakfast and had their morning medications prior to going to courts. Some were fidgeting, as they waited to board those buses.
All of a sudden, all hell broke loose! Two men were engaged in a fight, using weapons they made secretly for a while. Deputies called for help on the radio, both for custody back-up and medical staff, as well.
When the air was cleared and the other inmates were secured, one man was down on the floor. He sustained multiple gashes but two of them were deep. One cut was vertically etched from his left ear going down to the jaw line. The other dangerous cut was horizontal on his left neck, close to the jugular vein. Pool of blood dripped all over the floor. Holding his bleeding neck, he was pointing at the other inmate few feet away, being guarded by the other deputies.
The other man being accused was not hurt. There were no lacerations nor any other signs of trauma. He was obviously very agitated as he was being questioned by those deputies, while the medical staff started treating the other man on the floor. They cleaned the wounds and controlled the bleeding. That man was sent to the nearby hospital.
When the investigation was finalized, it turned out to be that the “downed man who was accusing the other inmate” was the attacker and the other one who didn’t have injury was the one attacked. The deputies found out that it was the second attempt to attack the unhurt man. Both attacks on him failed. He was well-prepared after the first attempt on him, that when the second attempt was done, he was able to defend himself and ended up injuring his attacker severely.
[Source: NLT Bible ]:
We also have an “accuser of the brethren.” Satan and his army of demons are the enemies of God and of everything good.
“Because God’s children are human beings – made of flesh and blood – Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death.” –Hebrews 2:14
Because of what Jesus had done [dying on the cross], we, who live in constant fear of death shouldn’t be afraid anymore. Jesus had freed us from that fear so we can live for Him. When we belong to God, we know that death is only the portal that leads into “eternal life”. [“Thank You Lord!].
Paul warned us, too that we also battle against the evil forces of Satan, who is a vicious fighter. But to be able to withstand their attacks, we must depend on God’s strength and use every piece of His armor. We face an army whose goal is to defeat Christ’s church. When we believe in Christ, they become our enemies. They will try any device to turn us away from the Lord.
Fear not! For God has provided His supernatural power to defeat Satan and his army, through His Holy Spirit within us. So, arm yourselves with God’s armor.
Let us be strong in the Lord's mighty power. Let's put on His whole armor to resist the enemy's attacks: put on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that we are well-prepared. We will need faith in every battle as our shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed by Satan and his army. Let us put on salvation as our helmet, not forgetting the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Let's pray at all times, on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. We must stay alert and be persistent in our prayers for all Christians everywhere. [Ephesians 6:10-18].