Trusting God with your art stretches your faith. It involves holding on with every shred of faith through grueling circumstances before finding Him to be true to His word.
"Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." Proverbs 3:5,6
As you trust God, He will grow your artistic ability, provide you with resources, supply your needs and ensure that your gift is not wasted.
This is only possible if you habitually assert that your human understanding of situations you face in life is flawed and incomplete. If, on the other hand, you are self-assured and confident of your own wisdom, choices and decisions you make..., then trusting will be a far more daunting prospect for you - challenging, but not impossible.
I painted the watercolor above to capture the childish game of walking in the footprints of the one who walks ahead of you. Titled "In His Steps", this watercolor reminds me of the simplicity of trusting God.
God alone can give you rest and an assurance that no matter what challenges life throws your way, your art is part of His plan. He will give you the resources to create as well as the audience you dream about. I want to share this true story that best demonstrates the rewards of trusting God, as well as some of its challenges.
Working at Walmart, was not what Marcus Hamilton envisioned doing when he reached 50. He was a freelance artist and illustrator. He enjoyed strumming his guitar and often wrote songs about his life.
I’ll bet that he assumed the demand would always be there for the original, hand-drawn illustrations that he provided for various magazines.
Unfortunately, the advent of computer aided graphics dried up his market. Closing up the studio that he had built behind his home, and finding the ‘regular’ job at Walmart must have been very discouraging. Surely it felt like the death of all his dreams! I read that he blamed God for his trying circumstances. Haven't we all been guilty of the same thing at least once in our lives?
For awhile, it appeared as if circumstances were not only challenging, but seemed to get worse. He suffered a major heart attack. Hope is a tenuous lifeline to grasp when your body is weakened by illness. Despair and discouragement seemed to wait in the wings threatening to overwhelm him.
Later that year everything changed completely.
I've learned, that when it appears as if God has completely abandoned you, the opposite is true!
Trusting God is possible, even when you question Him and wonder about His ways. God is always working on behalf of those who trust Him, even if that trust is feeble.
One day Hamilton turned on the TV and watched an interview with Hank Ketcham, the creator of the beloved comic character, Dennis the Menace. Hamilton watched with interest, as Hank explained his desire to travel and paint.
It was an apparently improbable dream for Ketcham, because of his daily deadline to draw Dennis. That deadline had defined his life for forty years. He wanted to retire, if he could find someone to succeed him. For Hamilton, an open door seemed to beckon him to enter.
He seized the opportunity, knowing that God had been preparing him through the bleak years for just this. For two years he trained with Hank, painstakingly capturing all the nuances of the characters like the lovable Dennis, Mr. Wilson, Margaret and others. He grew in the skills needed to effect a seamless transition that continues to keep Dennis the Menace, an international Sunday favorite.
In 1995, he took over the cartoon, appearing in more than 1000 newspapers in over 48 languages.
Today Marcus Hamilton can surely testify to the powerful reality of God’s faithful guidance. He learned that trusting God through the difficult times is never fruitless.
The very act of trusting God is one of confidence in Him who created you and knows you intimately. He knows what thrills you. Your trust will be rewarded in a way that reveals His knowledge of the deepest desires of your heart.
Trusting God will take you beyond your wildest dreams, long after you stopped dreaming!
"Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.” Ps 37:3
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