Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:12-14 NIV)
If I could paint I would pick up my brush and commit to canvas an image in my mind. Surely there is already something like it that I’ve seen? Perhaps I’m recalling a subliminal imprint.
My painting starts with a mountain, a rocky mountain. Dark. It would show a person…having my face, or your face, and this person would be clambering to get to the top.
The expression would be the hardest thing to capture. Outwardly it would look like angst and struggle. Countless world hands would be reaching out, trying to grab hold of limbs and heart, to keep him or her from reaching the top. The climber’s fingers bloodied from trying to hold on to rock shards. The knees and elbows would be gashed and bruised from being pulled back a foot when only inches had been gained. Tears leaving tracks down a dirty, exhausted face, lips cracked and dry. Thirsty.
But the eyes. The eyes would have an unfathomable depth. They would be pools of mercy and compassion. Pain and sorrow. Joy and peace. Even as blood tinged sweat dripped into them, there would be inexplicable love. Not angst and struggle at all but determination! There would be an odd glowing coming from the chest, from a heart that was near bursting with light. The beating orb easy for a dark world to see.
At the mountains top, in bold, bright strokes I’d paint a brilliant beam splitting the shadows wide, and reaching down from Heaven’s gate. Warrior wings would surround the opening with swords flashing, fighting for those barely holding on. From the dazzling beam Mercy would be shown grabbing hold of a lifted, trembling hand. My hand, your hand. Home at last. A Christian who has fought his or her way to their final destination.
If I could paint…
Though my attempt at capturing such splendor puny, I’d hope the viewer of my work would see my intent. I’d hope they’d realize that, even as the darkness wants the light for itself, its plan is to snuff out the blinding radiance. The darkness doesn’t understand. The internal Christ light grows ever brighter as the struggle to reach the crest comes to an end. Bolts of hope are generated from that heart light and surge through the entire being. A weary face looks up and is transformed! The climb forgotten, the wounds healed. The torn, tattered clothing replaced by a robe of white. It wasn’t a hardship at all…it was a life lived staying true to God. It was joy holding hands with sorrow. It was peace residing in the midst of spiritual warfare. It was mercy and compassion for those seeking to destroy. It was Christ residing in the hearts of those who accepted His life giving light.
Take heart loved ones, climb on, He’s waiting for you! Listen! The beat of angles wings is louder than the world’s noise. Our eternal prize is far greater than anything this world has to offer. Our God is in control, He sees all that is happening on this globe. He sees your struggles, your tears, your sorrow and how hard you’re trying. Tend to your lamp, keep it burning bright!
“Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness will be added unto you.”
(Matthew 6:25-33 KJV)