It took two years to paint A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte, the famous seaside scene. Each color that the eye sees is composed of countless contrasting dots. It is only as the viewer steps back from the painting that the picture emerges from the seemingly random dots.
When we are on the brink of despair, all we see is the color of our current situation. Our souls long for relief. When Job lost everything, he came to a point where he longed for death and wondered why God had forgotten him. Similarly the psalms of David are full of laments, heartfelt prayers to God expressing profound grief and sorrow. When we are in a dark place, it is comforting to know we are not alone.
Biblical stories can encourage us when we feel stuck and hopeless. This is not the end of our story but only a single dot or season. God is at work. He sees and affectionately holds the entire painting of our lives in His hands and has promised to create something beautiful. Don’t give up.
Is it not without its comfort that the two men that conversed with the Lord on the Mount of Transfiguration both broke under the strain of their ministry and prayed that they might die?
J. Oswald Sanders