Joy Comes In the Morning

I found myself sitting around, baking in the beautiful afternoon sun in our garden for an Easter Brunch when a friend asked me, “What have you been doing with your art lately?” I hesitated. I didn’t have an answer ready for that question. Rather, the answer was simply, “Zero. Zilch. Nada.”

I had given up Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, all social media in hopes of replacing the time wasted with pursuit of things I love most. Instead of feeding my creativity, I found myself devoid of any inspiration. My sketchbooks left in their place on the shelf. My phone filled up with note after note in my saved drafts;  thoughts sparked and observations noted, only to be forgotten. Ideas to be partially realized and then left to collect dust in the recesses of my mind. I wished to fill my time refocusing and finding myself presently. Instead when I looked, it felt as if presently I lost sight of my little dreams and aspirations.

Yes, to be fair to myself, I’ve been working, and I’ve got a few commitments that eat away at the precious hours I get between work and sleep, and I do hope to eat and shower on occasion. But what was my drive beyond mere compulsion of keeping on? What was I getting up for each morning? I felt listless.

The Lenten season brought about great fruits of understanding discipline and responsibility in my life. The drudgery of existence is hard. Not in the emo-middle school phase, but just in the day in and day out toil of doing the damn thing. But with that learning, it’s that scale of life that seems to tip this way and that but seems difficult to balance it in the middle. I’ve noticed as well as these good fruits I received, I began to recognize the pitfalls of myself, namely my confusion of complacency and contentedness. I find myself acutely aware of just how afraid I am of what God spoke into my heart just a week before Lent began: PROVISION. The word clearly written on my heartcaps lock, bold, and italics included. Instead, I hid behind excuses that what I was doing was “good enough” and “where He wants me,” failing to actually allow room for God to continue to speak into what He wished to provide in my life. He said again, “But wait, you of such little faith, I have so much more that awaits you than what you’ve tasted.”

And with that, I remember just how much that God has told me of His title as Provider. Not only was it clearly spoken to me now, but He let these words hit my heart so deeply that I made a decision to have a tattoo based on it. And here I am, awaiting my second tattoo on this same theme again this summer, which I felt calling to me so clearly in Matthew, chapter 6:

“Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown in the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O men of little faith?”

I failed to see the way in which God creates, and the imagination of the Creator with something so simple as a wildflower, forgotten a moment after its noticed. Just because I cannot sit to stare at each gallardia, bluebonnet, and every other wildflower sitting outside my window doesn’t mean that God hasn’t taken the time to do just that. Just because my life is little doesn’t mean it goes unnoticed or it’s worth conceding to mediocrity. How have I been able to believe then that my life is made to be any less than a vibrant, unique, and unforgettable adventure?

And that was where the light pierced through and the veil was lifted. I felt close to the apostles, unable to believe when others told them that Jesus was no longer in the tomb. I realized my blindness to the truth that is Christ’s unrelenting promise of a life worth living. I sat sulking in the upper room of my mind, failing to notice Him breaking the bread with me. I failed to notice Him walking along side me on a dusty road to Emmaus. But with open eyes to these truths this Easter season, my hands found freedomfreedom to bask in the beauty of their Creator and attempting by any means possible to partake in the riches of His imagination.

So the answer is “Nothing.” I didn’t do anything this Lenten season when it came to my expectations to pursue the beauty of the Lord. But as Psalm 30 reminded me constantly during Lent and then again as Easter entered in and the world was re-illuminated, “Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.”

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