Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Artist's Masterpiece


A thing of beauty is a joy forever; Its loveliness increases; it will never Pass into nothingness.

John Keats, 1795-1821

It was the scent of honey, mingled with a roselike, citrus essence. It greeted me each time I stepped from my front door to my little, painted, green porch. It welcomed me home when I stepped from my car, as I walked the narrow path to enter my home. It was there when I walked through my yard and viewed my gardens. And the sweet scent even often made its way into my home's tiny foyer. Every spring, without fail, the air around my house was filled with the mysterious fragrance that brought calm, cheer, even a healing peace that lingered, causing anticipation toward each winter's end.

I belatedly discovered the source of the balmy aroma. Beside the little concrete path that winged its way from the side yard to the gated entrance of my back garden were nestled honeysuckles, mock orange bushes, and English ivy. The profuse greenery and white blossoms were a glorious abundance, a symphony, showering the walk with romance and expectancy as one approached the garden gate.

Such a symphony is God's creation. And it is tireless, trustworthy, always testifying of His faithfulness (Psalm 19:1-4). The witness of God's majestic creations, the sounds of rushing waters and cheerful larks, thunderous storms and crackling fires, the velvet texture of rose petals and the smooth skin of newborn babes, tell of His glory. Even the scent of fragrant flowers and the air of fresh rain give us sweet pause, reminding all of our Creator and the Giver of life.

And what is in the wonders of nature, which sing of God's majesty, is also found in every person who is His own special expression of love and glory. For we are His workmanship, created in Jesus Christ for good works (Ephesians 2:10). You, dear friend, sister or brother-in-Christ, are God's particular design, a masterpiece of your Master. A wondrous work of The Artist. No other of His designs is like you. Even the prints of your fingers tell of your specific frame. And being fashioned so skillfully, so meticulously, your Artist created you with such detail, so that your life could be one of purpose, of meaning, of value, having worth now in the temporal, and later in the eternal.

Part of God's lovely design for you includes a beautiful fragrance, one that diffuses "His knowledge in every place" (II Corinthians 2:14). Like the sweet scent of my mock orange and honeysuckle, your perfume permeates the air around you. It testifies of God's love and grace, working its way into the lives of others, drawing them to the beauty of Christ.

Because of the scent of Christ's grace in your life, you carry the knowledge of Him in every "place." And the Greek word for place in this instance is topos. It refers not simply to location, but to opportunity, occasions, circumstances. So, in all opportunities in your life, be it ones of joy, diligence, sorrow, patience, suffering, trials, tests, persecutions, health, illness, prosperity, want, or doors of ministry, you are the fragrance of Jesus Christ, spreading the essence of all He is, being the testimony of the All in All. You are a wonder of His workmanship, showing the world around you the wisdom and skill of His design. When the world sees you, they are viewing God's masterpiece, and others around you are always experiencing the precious fragrance of Jesus Christ.

I thank God for you today. You, His eternal work of grace and love, used as a vessel to infuse the world with Christ's beauty and the glory of all He is. May we all be that little piece of clay in His mighty hands, pliable, allowing our Artist to shape us into His work of beauty, making us a testimony of His glory. We are not worthy. But are we not grateful for God's mercy? Such mercy does not consume us but gives us salvation and allows us to be part of His eternal plan. He is Elohim, our Master Designer, and Adonai, our personal Master. Praise His name!




I moved to my present home in 2007. The place I wrote of in this piece was my home prior to the one in which I now live. I love my present home, a small English cottage, but I do so very much miss the gardens of my former ranch-style house. God willing, my dear husband and I will soon begin to create gardens for our present place. Thank you for reading. God bless you bountifully. You are special in His eyes. He loves you with everlasting love.

Scripture is from NKJV

23 comments:

  1. Beautiful post, as always! So much to ponder on...

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  2. Your words paint a breathtaking picture....both of the garden path and the Creator's designs. I can see and smell it in my mind and touch it with my heart. Truly beautiful...

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  3. This is truly a powerful post! Thank you for such beautiful words that continue to guide me in my everyday walk with our Lord Jesus Christ. May your gardens be bountiful and fragrant:)

    Blessings,

    Kim

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  4. I just loved that! I so often speak of my Lord as my Master Designer! How precious it is to know that when he formed each of us he did with love we cannot comprehend! It is my prayer that I would be that 'beautiful fragrance that permeates the air around me' so that others will know and feel the Lord's presence in their lives too!
    What a beautiful Lord we serve!

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  5. I'll just bet there's not too much that gets past your appreciative recognition! What a beautiful collection of words and scenes. I'm there!

    I love the outdoors here in AZ, and my own yard in particular. Right now it's a profusion of color & blooms ... a perfect setting for sitting & pondering. Sometimes I'm absolutely certain the Lord joins me there.

    Be blessed,
    Kathleen

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  6. Looking forward to what the master designer has in store for His cottage .
    It will be such a joy to see what he has planned unfold .
    Thank you for your annointed words that are such a blessing to so many.
    Have a blessed,joyful,and healthy week ahead.

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  7. Beautiful thoughts, beautiful words, beautiful truths. ~Blessings~

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  8. I did enjoy reading your post, thank you. It leaves me with plenty to think about. I want to thank you for popping by my blog. Enjoy your week. best wishes Julie.C

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  9. Hi Andrea,

    Thankyou so much for your continuing prayers and uplifting comments!! :)

    I have this same print of the cottage. It is my favorite and I would love a little cottage like that when my girls are no longer living at home. We do have honeysuckle growing nearby but not near enough to the house so I can smell it while walking to and from the car. I like the smell of lavendar too.

    God does make us unique like that. :)

    Hugs & Blessings,

    Katherine

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  10. Thank you for these beautiful words that come right from the heart of God.

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  11. Well, plant some! I don't have a green thumb, nor do I desire much of one, but do enjoy the beauty of another's sacred planting...especially the ones seemingly planted by accident by God! I smelled the honeysuckle while out today for a walk.

    I want to be God's lovely fragrance! I smell Him here, everytime I come.

    peace~elaine

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  12. Once again, I needed to hear that! Hopefully, after my day today, my masterpiece doesn't look like a 2 year olds scribble! ha ha I am still praying to make the right decision about my job next year......... Please continue to pray for me!

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  13. Such beautiful and powerful words! I love the way you write. So lovely!

    Thank you for your kind words and encouragement on my blog.

    Blessings...

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  14. Dear Andrea,
    I never could bring myself to read your posts hastily. It would be a great injustice. What a beautiful work or art you are... and how good God is for having allowed me to discover you and the gifts God has showered upon you -- to describe, to encourage, put into pictures into words in a way that allows your reader to imagine what it is like. WHen I read this post, I found myself transported into that ranch style place, with the honeysuckles giving off that balmy aroma... I could probably sit down with you for hours, sipping tea and sharing what the Lord has done in our lives, to our hearts content.

    There is something in your blog, the way you creatively put it together, the kitchen pictures, the curtain pictures, the herbs, the flowers, the short quotes from Keats, Bunyan... the recipes...

    Do you know how I feel? I suddenly wished we were neighbors, and how I wish I could just once in a while drop in and ask you, "Hey Andrea, What's cookin?"

    And is Anna your grandchild? My youngest daughter, Obedient One, is named Anna. It's a beautiful name...

    Well, this is all for now. In all I have written, to God be the glory for the work He's doing in you.

    Have you read my post Given Wings? You can scroll down the previous posts on the sidebar and look for it. May I invite you to read it one of these days?

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  15. Andrea, Wow you have painted the way for us haven't you! I could almost smell it! His beauty and smells that he gives for our eyes and noses and ears to see and smell is so awesome. If only we would take time out to recognize it all, absorb it all! You surely took me there.
    Have a Beautiful and Blessed Day my friend :)

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  16. As always, your words are buttery and smooth. As a designer myself, I understand the joy I feel when I complete a work that brings me great pride and joy. My work is nothing in comparison to the creation of the world and all that is in it-so how much more pride and joy must the Lord have when He looks upon us while we are praising His name. I am so grateful for his mercies. Bless you!

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  17. Thanks for visiting my blog and for your encouraging comments. Please come back anytime.

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  18. Dearest Andrea,
    I truly look forward to reading your blog and seeing what you have posted on the sidebar.
    I luv
    luv
    luv
    your blog!
    Your writings are inspirational.
    It's a blessing to be your blogging buddy and Sister in Christ,
    Deanna

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  19. Andrea,
    Beautiful ...

    How could we ever doubt God's love and care for us when we consider how He made each of us? And how could we not see that we have real, sustaining value in the eyes of the Maker?

    Glad I stopped by today. And thank you for your encouragement on my blog this week. I'll be back soon.

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  20. Beautiful, beautiful words, redolent with the fragrance of the Lord. Thank you for this wonderful message.

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  21. Beautifully written, beautiful truth! I'm excited to read more about the transformation of your home...God is always in the details.

    xoRebecca

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  22. beautiful post! Thanks for stopping by my blog!

    Susan

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Thank you for visiting. I cherish your thoughts. You are special to me, but most of all, you are special to God, who loves you with everlasting love. May your life be swept into His joy and peace.

In the Wonderful Love of Christ our Savior,

Andrea