Updated: Jan 29, 2019
While studying the psalms with a group of ladies at my church, I was asked if I could share a creative expression based on the psalms we were studying. I had an image I had already wanted to paint that had come to my head the week prior while studying Psalm 27.
I had been longing for God to bring healing and an inner beauty despite some very painful trials. Very few people know of the tears that have fallen in secret. Some seasons have seemed so very dark and lonely. These dark places, I had come to realize, only God can enter with me. Friends can listen and share in my sorrow and pain. These friends are a comfort and gift from God. I want to honor God in all that I walk through. But, I realized that repeated sharing with even the most trustworthy confidants was squelching my faith and caused roots of bitterness to remain in my soul. I want to become all that God has fashioned me to be.
A few weeks prior to painting this painting I was reading a story to my son about the Chatres Cathedral in France (It is a story worth reading whether or not you have children). It took 57 years to build! There was opposition to it’s completion. It was built in stages. This is much like our lives. My heart leapt as I read the book to my son. I am, and you are, fashioned to be a living cathedral to point others to God. Opposition will come but He is with through every season. God is with us working (though sometimes seemingly slow) to see us to completion.
One of the passages spoke of waiting on the Lord. From that passage I was reminded of the meaning of “wait” in Hebrew. I have lived that kind of wait out... wrestling, writhing in pain,....
Psalm 27:14 Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart... and wait for the Lord.
Wait - Qavah (kaw-vaw): to bind together; to expect, look, patiently, tarry, wait upon; look eagerly for; to lie in wait for.
All these different things brought to mind geodes hidden away in the darkness. A sermon a pastor years back shared came to my mind. It was based on Isaiah 45:3
And then it all came together in my mind and this painting was birthed in my heart:
If the Chatres Cathedral took 57 years to build and exquisitely lined jeweled geodes millions of years, I will choose trust, hope, peace and rest in the waiting. Jeweled geodes begin as empty, vacant cavities. when there is heat alternating with a cooler period the jewels slowly form. This paralleled, in my mind, with the years it took to build the Chatres Cathedral. Except, geodes are formed over millions of years!
Knowing this we can put our total trust, hope and confidence in God’s power at work around us, and in us, during the fiery seasons and those of intense heat. We can rest in the seasons, whether hot or cold, knowing it’s all a part of God’s promises of hidden treasures found in darkness. When our hope is deferred and our hearts feels deep sadness, emptiness or pain, we can be sure that His promises are steadfast and true as we wait on Him and hidden in Him.
I don’t believe God likes to see us hurt. But He allows them because, “He who began a good work in us is faithful to complete it." But, any place we allow the vacant places to stay vacant and not fill them with eternally empty “stuff” and possessions, but instead purpose to fill our hearts with His unwavering love and presence, will yield treasures comparable to jeweled geodes or exquisite stain-glass cathedrals.
Isaiah 45:3 “I will give you the treasures of darkness And hidden wealth of secret places, So that you may know that it is I, The Lord, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name.”