I want to paint a picture of an invisible God, but unfortunately, I don't know how to paint. I'd want it to be a vibrant painting, full of colour and substance, to display God's stunning character. In fact, I'd want it to portray God the same way King David so wonderfully described Him in Psalm 36...
Your mercy, O Lord, is in the heavens;
Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.
6 Your righteousness is like the great mountains;
Your judgments are a great deep;
O Lord, You preserve man and beast.
Psalm 36:5-6 (NKJV)
I would paint the heavens beyond the clouds so that they were filled with beautiful radiant light to display God's measureless mercy. As you gazed upward, your view would be filled with glorious colours. It would be too much to take in just standing there. You would need to crane your neck back and turn your head from side to side as you spun around gazing at the heavens, and even then your view would be restricted by the horizons all around, which God's abounding mercy would lavishly spill beyond, stretching infinitely in all directions. Oh how I want God's love and mercy to be that enveloping and compelling as I live for Him!
I would want the sky from the earth to the clouds to be its own delightful colour to display God's faithfulness – a special hue as the dew of heaven filled the atmosphere, faithfully falling upon the land. To stand in its midst, you would soon be as wet as a morning meadow in springtime, with innumerable beads of liquid love covering you from head to toe. The sky beneath the clouds would practically sparkle as the moisture in the air gently descended. That is the atmosphere I want to live and move in so that I'm forever saturated in God's great faithfulness!
And there would be mountains. Strong, awe-inspiring, immovable mountains of God's righteousness, so high there'd be clouds amidst their lofty peaks, looking as though they had stood there forever and would forever remain. It would be a mighty mountain range that would leave you feeling small, but a part of something vast and amazing. You would know that the pinnacles of those mountains were far too high to conquer, but that with help, you could explore the beautiful and ever-rising slopes. I'm so grateful Father that You clothe Your children in the righteousness of Jesus, but also that Your majestic holiness will forever be beyond compare!
A great sea would also be a part of the painting, with powerful waves on the surface of deep waters – deeper than anyone could ever explore. There would be great mystery in those depths, unknown plans and untraceable judgments. Staring into those clean, clear waters, one would find some clarity near the surface, but the deeper waters would be impenetrable, reflecting no light and giving no answers. It's such an encouragement that the mercy and faithfulness of God are visible above that daunting sea, but I would want those waters to be no other way, for God's thoughts are far beyond ours, and His wisdom is so much greater than the wisdom of man.
David goes on further with his imagery in verses 7-9 speaking of a river and a fountain and of God's house in the midst of it all. That's the wonder of all this: this awesome God wants to be very near to us. He wants to make His dwelling place right in our hearts so that we can enjoy Him in His awesome splendour every day on this earth.
That's why the painting I described above would never be something to put on display, but rather, it's meant to be an illustration of something to be lived! I don't feel fully acquainted with every vista I've just described, but I want to grow increasingly so as I follow the God who lives in my heart and whom David portrayed so poetically.
© 2016 by Ken Peters
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