“O Joy that Seekest Me Through Pain” (George Matheson)-

One of my favorite sights in Barcelona is the artist Antoni Gaudi’s Parque Güell, where mosaic tiles cover the longest bench in the world. There’s something so beautiful about mosaics, isn’t there? They strike something within us not only for the picture they create with complementary colors, but also for the stunning revelation of patterns and colors one wouldn’t think of as naturally belonging together. They are all simply pieces of vessels and structures that have been broken and neglected, whose original purpose seemed to lie torn in worn-out pieces. They highlight the beauty of fractured things coming together to create something new, something unexpected. When this happen in my life, as in this present season of reinvention, the new and ultimate picture being made by God is often a mystery. C.S. Lewis spoke of God as being the master artist in our lives:

“Remember He is the artist and you are only the picture. You can’t see it. So quietly submit to be painted—i.e., keep fulfilling all the obvious duties of your station (you really know quite well enough what they are!), asking forgiveness for each failure and then leaving it alone. You are in the right way. Walk—don’t keep on looking at it.”

When I do catch a glimpse of God’s vision for what seemed fragmented and lost, it often takes my breath away. Submitting to His artistry, and to this mystery, ultimately seems to bring a surprising joy that can’t be ignored. Pastor and hymn writer George Matheson spoke of this too:

“O joy that seekest me through pain,

I dare not close my heart to thee.

I trace the rainbow through the rain,

And know the promise is not vain,

That morn shall tearless be.”

The Apostle Paul’s encouragement in Romans 8:28 is so comforting: “And we know in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him, of those who are called according to His purpose”. One day will see the grand design: “Then I will know, even as [we] are fully known” (I Corinthians 13:12). That day will not only hold the revealing of His artistic design, it will be the completion of all our joyous victories, manifested in all their fullness.

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