My mural in Mozambique took me three weeks to do. My painting at Elim took around five and a half. Colombia took three and a half to four. After a while of working on projects like this you get to a point where you can look at a wall and gauge fairly accurately how long it is going to take you.
Right now, I am painting a six week painting. I planned six weeks for this painting and by the time I have finished it, I will have invested six weeks into it.
It’s big, quite big. The first time I stood in front of it, face to face, I was struck by how intimidating it was up close. It seemed smaller from the road. I’d been watching it every morning from a distance as I drove past, but this Thursday was my first time actually taking it in in person. I hesitated. I stared. I laughed from nervousness. I laughed from the ridiculousness of the task I was taking on.
A painting this size, I thought, definitely needs at least six weeks to paint. But I don’t have six weeks to paint. I have three.
I had six weeks. I could have had exactly six weeks to paint this wall. But God told me to wait. While the team was here, He told me to wait and pray. Once the team left He told me to keep waiting and keep praying. Another week went by as He led me to understand what He wanted to do for this community, but not what He wanted me to paint, or where He wanted me to paint it. As time continued on, I became so invested in His plans for the people here, that the painting and my desire for answers began to shift to the background of my thoughts and prayers.
Each day as I drove to my various filler sites I drove past this wall; big, glaring, completely blank and ready for paint. I didn’t even notice it at first, but by the time my other potential site fell through, I wasn’t disappointed. I wanted this one.
They say to be careful what you wish for. Believe me that thought went through my mind Thursday morning. At that point I still didn’t even know what I was going to be painting. My mind and sketchbook were as blank as that big grey cement wall.
After three weeks of prayer though, I knew without a doubt that God had sent me exactly here, for exactly now, to be apart of something much bigger than this wall. If He wanted me to have six weeks to paint it, He would have given me six to paint it. That’s the simple truth.
This wall was ready to paint three weeks ago. Im the one who needed time. I was willing, available and able of course, but now I know that I needed to fight for this place first. I needed to catch the vision and know, really know, the importance and purpose of this painting before I could start.
In this mural I am convinced that the prayer that has gone into it is equally as important, if not more so, as each stroke and color that will go on it. Marvelously enough, God has allotted equal time for both aspects. If I’m being completely honest with myself, I even have to recognize that of the two, the painting is far less ambitious than my prayers for this community. But I believe Him for both.
The Holy Spirit’s enthusiasm for this place is contagious, and I am overwhelmed and overjoyed that He chose to include me in what He’s doing here! Doing a six week painting in three weeks time is comically ridiculous. But this painting is just one small piece of a much greater plan. If I am going to believe Him for the fullness of what He is doing here, then I am going to have to trust Him to take care of all the smaller aspects as well.
So that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to trust Him. I’m going to lean into what He is doing here without fear of failure. I am going to keep fighting for this community alongside Him in prayer. I am going to put on my strongest SPF and paint my heart out for the next 3 weeks. I’m going to be amazed at how great and powerful my awesome faithful God is.