“As it is written: ‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him,’ but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.”

1 Corinthians 2:9-10
J.R.R. Tolkien’s allegory “Leaf by Niggle” (1945) strikes a familiar chord with me. Both Niggle and I are simple artists who struggle with contentment and are keenly aware of earthly limits to lofty creative aspirations. Niggle attempts to paint a great tree, making every leaf uniquely beautiful, but he sees how difficult that is. The small bits of the painting he feels he got right are only vague hints of what he longs to see. In the end, despite his inadequacies and failings, God rewards him with grand mercy and blessing.

God does the same in us while we live out our imperfect lives!

We may feel unfulfilled, distracted, and missing our true purpose. But be assured that He bestows His gifts lavishly and calls us to use them in worship and service. Our attempts at creativity echo God’s true creations of beauty. As He sanctifies us, we rest in the sure hope that the painting of “our tree” will be a finished masterpiece unto His glory. And in eternity the beauty of the endless vistas beyond the leaves will surpass our imaginings!

Scripture Focus

Colossians 3:23-24


Search and count the blessings and beauty in your day. Praise God who rejoices in you, His precious work of art.

Bible In A Year

  • Ezekiel 19-20
  • Psalm 140
  • Colossians 1-2

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