The other day I journeyed to Hobby Lobby to hunt down art supplies for one of my classes. That store is not a safe place to go alone! I don’t like shopping in general, but I love browsing Hobby Lobby’s aisles and dreaming about what I could do with all the fascinating materials I find. This time I walked through an aisle full of empty canvases in all different shapes and sizes, and I felt a little thrill go through me. It was the same reaction I get to aisles of empty notebooks and gel pens. (Am I weird?) Apparently I get excited by potential. Thinking about it a little bit more, I realise I don’t feel the same way about a finished piece of art – even a gorgeous one – as I do about an empty canvas. I love beautiful artwork and it makes me happy, but it’s not the same as the exciting potential of an empty canvas.
So I wonder… does God feel the same way about us? When we come to Him with our own plans set in our mind – even if they are good things – we’re comparable to a canvas filled with the blotches of color we have picked for ourselves. It seems to follow that when we come before Him and lay everything – desires, preferences, plans, possessions, loved ones – at His feet in surrender, we become a blank canvas, empty and clean, ready for Him to paint the masterpiece He envisions. I’ll bet He gets really excited about that!
Life has a tendency to empty us on occasion. It takes away our plans in the blink of an eye with something as quick and irreversible as a wreck. It takes all our energy until we feel like we are utterly empty and have nothing left. I will always remember what a friend once told me when I was at that point of utter emptiness. She said that “sometimes God has to empty us before He can fully fill us.”
I want to be filled with Him. I want my life to be a masterpiece that reflects His creative genius. And so, I want to be like those empty canvases in Hobby Lobby.