When I was really sick I often couldn’t read more than a verse or two of the Bible at a time or attend church meetings. I had to find some different ways to engage with God, I needed more tools in my toolbox. One of these was painting with worship music on, I had never done this before but God used it to encourage me and speak to me. I started painting whatever came into my mind, often simple pictures which could take days to do. My first one was a cross with the word ‘hope’ underneath, I kept coming back to it, God used it to bring me comfort. Here are a couple of my pictures and how God spoke to me as I did them:
Christ’s nail scarred hands: As I painted this picture I reflected on and thanked Jesus for taking up his cross for me. He was pierced for my transgressions (Isaiah 53:5) because of God’s love for me so that I can know God and spend eternity with him (John 3:16).
God has the whole world in his hands! When I was really ill it was hard sometimes to have a perspective beyond my difficult day-to-day reality. God reminded me that he created the heavens and the earth (Genesis 1:1) and as I painted this picture it helped put my problems in perspective. God is the Alpha and the Omega, or in other words the beginning and the end (Revelation 1:8) and nothing is impossible for him (Matthew 19:26).
Through illness I have discovered some really cool ways to engage with God which I would have never previously considered. I’m grateful to God for showing me them, I find I go through seasons and that some are more appropriate at certain times than others. For example, I’m not currently painting because I can read again and I’m enjoying getting into the Bible and Christian books. Is there something new that you could try today to engage with God?
Note: In previous blog posts I have explored some other ideas for engaging with God when very sick. These include: in sung worship (here), getting the Bible into you (here) and the power of bullet prayers (here).