IMAGINE: your domain is in Fine Art painting, and you set yourself a goal of creating, day by day, month by month, a visual depiction of your year, 2023. You set up an easel by the window in your studio, put your blank canvas in place, assemble the paints, and wait for inspiration. The big idea is to end up with a single painting, a kind of mash-up of everything you experience from January thru December, finding ways to communicate the good along with the bad, with the pre-chosen title for the work: ‘Hidden in God,’ from the Scripture, “Drink deeply of the pleasures of this God. Experience for yourself the joyous mercies he gives to all who turn to hide themselves in him.”Psalm 34:8, TPT. I think that would be a unique challenge, starting out before the year unfurls and I find it intriguing to think how the painting would look next New Year’s Eve, or soon after. 

An echelon or two below that project (read not artsy!), I made the happy accident, during the global 2020 lockdown, of online jigsaw puzzles. They filled many a quiet hour in those days of ‘house arrest.’ I soon noticed that there were Mystery Puzzles on one of the sites, puzzles with only a small portion of the overall puzzle depicted. I enjoyed the challenge and the anticipation of revealing the completed whole. I see the mystery aspect of those puzzles being closely related to these next twelve months. While we may have certain planned highlights, like trips and get togethers and birthdays, weddings, etc. there may also be events less celebrative, like exams, theses, business deadlines, maybe surgery or other medical interventions. Then, there are always the unplanned, unexpected highs and disruptive, unwelcome lows that round out each year.

OK, we may not be gifted with putting paint brush to canvas, but what if we were to consider 2023’s journey to the Father’s heart through the lens of Psalm 34:8? What if we determine, now, to make the title of our year: ‘Hidden in God’? What if our GMO’s (ghastly moral obligations, per Eleanor Mumford), were experienced with our theme verse blinking cheerily before us? What if the riotously happy and the rigorously painful were seen, each with our theme equally present, equally potent? What if our Psalm 34:8 focus swept us up into never-before-experienced breakthroughs of the deep pleasures and joyous mercies of God? What if it made our days fun, celebratory even? (picture dancing in the grocery aisle, having a moment with your cereal.) What if the honest friendship with Jesus that we’ve been longing for is the big surprise in the rear-view mirror on December 31? What if that discovery made our 2023 journey all worthwhile? More on a this perspective tomorrow at 10 AM, 3 PM, 4 PM.  PD

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