What a terrific picture of the Christian life. Paul made the point in Ephesians 2:1 that we all were “dead in your transgressions and sins.” How much can dead people accomplish? My research on that question suggests that the answer is absolutely zero. And that is exactly what we could do for ourselves spiritually. In Ephesians 2:4-5 Paul said, “But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions.” God made us alive. We did not make ourselves alive. Dead people simply cannot do that. It was God’s work that brought us to life spiritually. But God did not stop there. It is also God’s work to keep us alive spiritually and to finish what he wants to do in us! Our job is simply to let him do it. It is to trust him as he works.
Jesus said in Matthew 11:28 that he brings rest for our souls. If our Christian life does not produce a sense of rest, then something is wrong. Whatever we are doing it is not actually living the Christian life. Rest is such a beautiful thing. Laurie came home recently after the women’s retreat. It had been a wonderful event but it was exhausting for her. The evening she got home she kept saying, “I’m so tired.” When she fell into bed she said, “Aahhh, this feels so good.” It felt great to rest! It was what she needed to refresh and strengthen her. As the commercial says, “never underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep.”
My point here is that we must never forget the role of the canvas. It just rests and lets the artist do his work. The Great Artist is doing his work in us. We need rest for our souls to refresh and strengthen us. That rest is provided by Jesus. He has done the work to save us. He is doing the work to make us his masterpiece. He will finish his work, and it will be beautiful. So rest, and enjoy the Artist’s talent!