And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every desire and every thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever. 1 Chronicles 28:9
No painting is complete until framed, but the artist has so much more to consider.
Long before the artist selects a decorative frame for his work, he implements another important frame that remains unseen by the viewing public. Most people never consider the function of the mounting frame that gives stability to a stretched canvas. Without this support, it becomes practically impossible to use cloth canvas. Brushstrokes are inconsistent and uncontrollable on a loose piece of fabric. Cloth needs to be stretched and tightly secured to a mounting frame to achieve the artist’s desired results.
The Creator in Us
Like an artist stretching canvas across a mounting frame, David prepared Solomon for the task of building God’s temple. The king’s advice laid the groundwork for his son to seek God first and then proceed according to His plan.
God initiates His plan for all of us by searching our hearts, understanding the wanderings of our thoughts, and by implanting the desire within us to seek Him. He establishes the framework for our faith, using everyday situations to stretch and secure our confidence in Him.
I distinctly remember God stretching my confidence in Him over the frame of experience. Several years ago, my daughter chose a college in Georgia. Although her father drove her there the first time, it was apparent I would have to pray a lot and work on my driving skills if the girl was ever to see Central Pennsylvania again. This proved to be no easy feat. To me, traveling in a car entails reading, observing, and sleeping. Behind the wheel, I break out in a cold sweat, develop a white-knuckled grip, and grow very quiet while praying and holding my breath until we’re out of congested areas.
Understanding my fear, God began to build a framework of self-confidence within me by arranging for Melinda to fly to the Philadelphia airport for her first break. Although my white-knuckled grip showed up in the congested city traffic, that trip convinced me of God’s ability to navigate me through six lanes of traffic.
For her winter respite, I had to pick her up at a friend’s home in Roanoke, Virginia. It was half the driving distance to her college. After driving the 900-mile round-trip, I knew driving the 900 miles to Toccoa Falls, Georgia, would take every ounce of nerve I had. But I could do it.
Driving a car isn’t the only area where I’m as inconsistent and uncontrollable as brushstrokes on a loose piece of canvas. But the long-distance driving experience taught me that if I seek God first, He’ll stretch my faith across the inner frame He established through Jesus Christ. And I can achieve far more than I ever thought possible.
What step-by-step process is God using to develop your inner frame of confidence?
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In what ways has God framed you?
by Brenda K. Hendricks
Brenda K. Hendricks is an artist who has experimented with her gift of painting most of her life. She enjoys imparting artistic skills, as well as knowledge of the Creator, to participants at art parties, retreats, and other Christian events. In addition to her love of painting, she has discovered a passion for writing. When not creating, Brenda hops on the seat behind her husband, Gene, to zoom over hill and dale on their Harley, admiring the wonders of nature in Central Pennsylvania where they live. The couple has been blessed with two daughters, seven grandchildren, and a psycho Airedale terrier named Hunter.