Every now and then I like to watch a program that is aired in syndication titled “The Joy of
Painting”. This program was hosted by painter Bob Ross. Through the entire program, Bob
paints a beautiful nature scene that he starts and finishes in thirty minutes. The entire time that
Bob is painting, he is very quietly and calmly narrating his technique. Bob’s gentle demeanor
and wonderful talent in creating, keeps the viewer relaxed, at peace, and in complete awe of
what Bob can create in such a short time.
If you have ever watched the program, you know that Bob begins with a blank canvas. As he
starts to paint, the canvass looks like strange lines and globs of colors, resembling nothing at all.
At the beginning, one cannot recognize or appreciate just how amazing and beautiful the end
result will be. As you are watching, you think that Bob has made a mess of the painting and that
maybe this time he is going to take the canvas, throw it in the trash, and start all over. But
through all the chaos of colors, Bob remains completely calm, relaxed, and peaceful. He never
gives up on the painting, he just continues to paint—he just continues to create. Out of
nowhere, with about three minutes left to go in the program, you finally see what Bob had seen
all along. You see a beautifully created perfect portrait of nature that leaves you in awe.
When we look at our lives, the work of the creator may be hard for us to see. Our eyes seem to
be more focused on the uncompleted work. Many times all we can see is the present chaos of
pain and suffering, or the strange lines of broken relationships and lost opportunities, or the
globs of unfulfilled dreams. But we need to understand that just as God once moved across the
darkness and chaos to create beauty, light and life, God is continuing to create beauty, light and
Even when we can’t see the artistry of God’s work, remember that God is present. Like Bob,
God is completely calm, relaxed and providing peace because He is the only One who knows
where your life is headed…and knows that the end result is the perfect portrait of eternal life
and love that He is painting. Glory be to the Lord our God. Amen.