Artist, Architect, Author

“We’re interrupting your regularly scheduled activity for an important message from your Creator. Please stand by.”1

Have you ever been going blindly and numbly about your everyday business and suddenly become aware that you are right in the middle of something that only God could have imagined before that moment?

I remember one Sunday morning, as I stepped out of my car to do my normal Sunday morning grocery shopping, the air above me, for as far as I could see, was filled with Canada Geese flying north for the summer. They were flying so high that I could just barely hear their honking, but I could see them as they swirled from one v-formation to another. I was mesmerized, frozen to the spot where I stood. And then the geese were gone; the sky was empty, but I was left in awe of God’s delight in beauty.

When Ellen White was traveling in Europe, she and the folks with her had a similar experience. Her description appears in a book written by D.A. Delafield, E.G. White in Europe 1885-1887.

“As Ellen White’s party left Norway they witnessed one of nature’s grandest spectacles—a northern sunset. Mrs. White loved the beauty of the natural world. To her, nature was God’s second book. She was awed by the grandeur:
‘We were favored with a sight of the most glorious sunset it was ever my privilege to behold. Language is inadequate to picture its beauty. The last beams of the setting sun, silver and gold, purple, amber, and crimson, shed their glories athwart the sky, growing brighter and brighter, rising higher and higher in the heavens, until it seemed that the gates of the city of God had been left ajar, and gleams of the inner glory were flashing through. For two hours the wondrous splendor continued to light up the cold northern sky,—a picture painted by the great Master-Artist upon the shifting canvas of the heavens. Like the smile of God it seemed, above all earthly homes, above the rock-bound plains, the rugged mountains, the lonely forests, through which our journey lay.’”(D.A. Delafield, E.G. White in Europe 1885-1887, p.127)

God didn’t have to make different types of trees or flowers or anything else. All the trees could have been the same. He could have made things in black and white. We never would have known the difference. Butterflies didn’t have to be beautiful to do their job. Birds didn’t have to sing. Our God must love beauty, and He shared that beauty with us. Breathtaking things in nature are like little taps on our shoulders, reminding us of all that God has done for us. Even more astounding than God’s work in nature, though, is the artistry and skill He uses within His children.

Have you ever heard of Dr. Ben Carson? In his book, Take the Risk, Dr. Carson describe the day that he asked God to be the architect of his character.

“One day, as a 14-year-old in ninth grade, I was hanging out at the house of my friend Bob, listening to his radio, when he suddenly leaned over and dialed the tuner to another station. I’d been enjoying the song playing on the first station, so I reached over and flipped it back. Bob switched stations again.

“A wave of rage welled up. Almost without thinking, I pulled out the pocketknife I always carried and, in one continuous motion, flicked open the blade and lunged viciously right at my friend’s stomach. Incredibly, the point of the knife struck Bob’s large metal buckle and the blade snapped off in my hands.

“Bob raised his eyes from the broken piece of metal in my hand to my face. He was too surprised to say anything. But I could read the terror in his eyes.

“‘I…I…I’m sorry!’ I sputtered, then dropped the knife and ran for home, horrified by the realization of what I’d just done.

“I burst into our empty house, locked myself in the bathroom, and sank to the floor, miserable and frightened. I could no longer deny that I had a severe anger problem, and that I’d never achieve my dream of being a doctor with an uncontrollable temper. I admitted to myself there was no way I could control it by myself. ‘Lord, please, you’ve got to help me,’ I prayed. ‘Take this temper away! You promised that if I ask anything in faith, you’ll do it. I believe you can change me.’

“I slipped out and got a Bible. Back on the bathroom floor, I opened to the Book of Proverbs. The words of Proverbs 16:32— ‘He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city’ —convicted me, but also gave me hope. I felt God telling me that although he knew everything about me, he still loved me… That because he made me, he was the only one who could change me… And that he would. Gradually I stopped crying, my hands quit shaking, and I was filled with the assurance that God had answered my prayer.

“Uncontrolled anger has never again been a threat to me or those around me. God has provided and will provide whatever strength I need to control my anger.” (Ben Carson, Take the Risk (Zondervan, 2008))

Isn’t God amazing? If we’ll let Him, He will take the parts of us that sin has bent, torn, ruined and re-design, re-mold, re-paint and re-create them to be how He meant them to be in the first place.

The catch is, He won’t make any changes without our express permission. You have probably, at some point in your life, given children the opportunity to do something he really wasn’t able to do. Maybe you let then make cookies, or wash the car, or any number of other things that you could have done more quickly and without making anywhere near the mess. But, the child insisted on doing it by himself, so you stood back and watched. It was torturous, wasn’t it? You probably asked many times if the child wouldn’t like some help, only to be abruptly turned down.

Imagine how it must be for God to watch us trying to do everything all by ourselves, making monumental and usually tragic messes. And there He stands, longing for us to ask Him to take over. Those words of surrender are what He lives for – they’re what Jesus died for.

Think about it, who can put our lives back together, better than the One who has written each one of our names on the palms of His hands – the one who looked through the pain of the cross to the joy of being with us in Heaven?

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2



Artist, Architect, Author — 14 Comments

  1. I enjoyed a lot reading this message. My prayer today was that God could change me for the better and I know He will even though I have a weakness with this sin I know He will make a way. Thanks

  2. When a sculptor was asked how does he make such a beautiful sculpture, he replied:" I only remove the pieces that I can't use." That's what Jesus does to us. He removes all our sins, but only if we let Him. Then we remain pure and beautiful.

  3. So thankful to our Patient Creator! He loves us so much He will again re-create us as we surrender to His will. Speaking as someone who has helped remodel a house, it's SOOOO much easier to start with a new structure than try to fix all the problems in the old one. Just like my life; sometimes I try to keep the old and ask God to work around it. To which He replies, "Tear it down, all of it. Let Me build you the house of your dreams." And I know it will be worth it.

  4. As designer, artist and a student of architecture, I was truly blessed by the post. But most especially by the second part with Ben Carson. What a powerful, powerful story you have shared about him....

  5. God as Sculpture. Acts 9:1-22. It matters which light you have and it matters who's or which authority you have. Sometimes we ride on our high horse called life, convincing ourselves we're doing the right thing and heading to the right direction because of our authority - religious, social, financial, educational or political.

    It's not any light but light from Heaven that can guarantee we're on the right track. God may need to let us fall back to the earth, from where we came from to restore and recreate us. He specializes in restoration because He doesn't have a recycle bin and neither does He have a scrap yard.

    He's the Potter and we're the clay. He's the Author and we're just blank pages. He's the Sculptor and we're hard, unshaped granite. He's the Architect and we're ruined and desolate land. So long as we don't admit and acknowledge this fact, God the Mastermind and Master planer will never invade or intrude into our lives.

    We need to in order for us to live. We need to be foolish to this world in order to be prudent to God. We need God to blind us in order for us to see. That's why Jesus put salve on the on man's eyes who had been blind for 38 years, and it was evident that the Pharisees who thought had light were more blind than that man.

    It matters which light you have.

  6. Reference made to this scripture from Romans 9:13-18; Rom 9:21-23. Can the Living Father create some people for experimental purposes ???
    I need your help as far as this Sabbath School Lesson is concern GOD THE ARTIST, THE POTTER.

    • Dear Mugenzi,

      Thank you for your good question. I might rephrase it thus:

      How can the Living Father create some people for temporary purposes?

      In other words, does God make some people whom He doesn't care to save for eternity? I believe the overwhelming answer of the Bible is a resounding NO. II Peter 3:9 clearly tells us that God is "not willing that any should perish." John 3:16 says that "God so loved the world," not only those who believe, or who will ultimately believe and be saved. I John 2:2 says that Christ is "the propitiation" for the sins of the whole world -- not just the sins that would eventually be confessed and forsaken. One could go on and on. It is crystal clear to me that the Living Father loves every one of us far beyond our ability to grasp it.

      I believe that Paul, in Romans 9, was dealing with another question, a deeper analysis, if you please. The Bible teaches in Isaiah 46:10 (among other passages) that God always knows the future perfectly. Also, Jesus Himself clearly taught that many will ultimately perish in Gehenna. So, we can't get around the fact that God creates some people, knowing fully well that they will finally perish. Thus, such people must have been, in some ultimate sense, created for temporary purposes. It's simply inescapable. They will not be around to benefit from God's eternal purposes, which they have been furthering in spite of themselves.

      Some may be tempted to question whether this is right, whether God ought to behave in this way. That is where Paul draws the line, and I believe we should too. We the creatures have no business questioning the prerogatives or the character of our Creator. If He were not beyond our comprehension, then He would not (after all) be the infinite God, would He?

      I like the way Ellen White puts it in Steps to Christ, page 106.

      We can so far comprehend His dealings with us, and the motives by which He is actuated, that we may discern boundless love and mercy united to infinite power. We can understand as much of His purposes as it is for our good to know; and beyond this we must still trust the hand that is omnipotent, the heart that is full of love.

  7. God is indeed an artist look at how unique we all are. Each person his or her beauty to show. How wonderful.

  8. Lilianne is truly a servant of God! Her article really inspired and touched me. I also love her style of writing. The examples cited, everything was just perfect! May God continue to use you, Lilianne.

  9. The 'interruption' of the opening paragraph arrested my attention. Last Sunday I came home to an usually warm sunny March Michigan afternoon. I had been so pressed by my work deadlines.

    I saw the first spring flowers in my front yard. It was 'a Kodak moment'.

    The buttercup yellows begged me to photograph them with my cell phone. The blooms were so small but magnificent. I wonder what the neighbors thought of me laying on my belly capturing this interruption to my busy life.

    Thank you God

    PS: Yellow crocas photo delivered by your imagination 🙂


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