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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Turning Despair into Hope

A painter stepped back from the canvas and viewed what he had painted. The scene portrayed a dark-gray farmhouse set on a drab landscape. A broken shutter dangled precariously from an upstairs window, and a thin line of smoke wisped upward from a crooked chimney. In the foreground stood a lone leafless tree. Its barren branches, like long, misshapen bony fingers, pierced a cloudy sky. Near the top of the painting, a full moon veiled by a cloud added an eerie character to the already gloomy painting.

Contemplating what he had painted, the artist decided to title his work “Despair,” But a sudden burst of inspiration changed his mind—and his painting. He dabbed a paintbrush into his brightest yellow and dabbed the window with the broken shutter. Instantly, light emanated from the farmhouse, stating in effect that life was inside.

Once more, the painter stood back, viewed his work, and then affixed the title “Hope.” Just one touch of light had turned the whole scene from “Despair” to “Hope.”

Life can get mighty tough, especially when the cost of living soars and personal income falls. At the same time, health may deteriorate and relationships may sour. Aches, pains, and anxieties may become more plentiful than dandelions after a spring rain. Despair may plunge us into a dark and gloomy existence unless we yield to the divine Artist’s hand and trust Him to apply light to the window of our soul.

That light may come in the flash of a Bible exhortation and promise. For example, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7) may be just what we need on one of those downcast, gray days. Or a call from a Christian friend to say, “I’m praying for you, “ may brighten our day. So take heart; the Master moves His brush across the canvas of our lives in strokes of genius. His hand is always steady, and His work is always perfect.

Hang tough. There’s hope!

© 2008, Jim Dyet

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