One evening, I listened to a minister talk about God's ability to do anything. Raised in a preacher’s home, this message was not a new one to me. But no longer a child, I found myself, well, doubting.
Maybe it was just that the struggles facing me this night loomed larger than life itself. Because I thought my trials too deep and too dark to share with fellow Christians, I often found myself exhausted, bent over from carrying my burden alone. Often, I tried to convince myself that I deserved to suffer. After all, I had been the one who refused counsel, plunging headlong into this destructive situation. Maybe this—the mental anguish, the hopelessness, the feeling of failure—was the penalty I must pay for such foolish choices.
"God wants to take your negatives and turn them into positives," the minister was saying. "Remember," he said, "A car's battery has a negative and a positive connection. You hold the negative; God hold's the positive. Put them together and anything is possible."
That evening I crawled into bed thinking about those words, but unable to shake my remorse. Feeling like a total flop, I pulled the covers close and breathed a solitary prayer: Lord, please make something good out of this mess.
The next morning, I stood at my bay window, staring out across the backyard. Trees stood naked, not a leaf in sight. Grass that once caressed bare feet rested brown and strawlike. The yard’s barrenness seemed to mirror my soul.
In an effort to cheer myself, I bundled up and drove to a local antique mall. As I strolled through the aisles, my eye caught sight of a large mural painted on the back wall. For awhile I stood admiring the white stone fence surrounding a glorious array of flowers—zinnias, peonies, snapdragons, marigolds—exploding above lush jade grass. In the center, under an azure sky, a narrow pebble path led to a stately gazebo. Breathtaking!
Just then, the mural moved. Astonished, I realized I had been staring at the back of two garage doors, opening out to the loading dock.
My heart leapt. I knew, beyond a doubt, that God had brought me to this place to be encouraged. If a garage door could become a work of art, surely the Creator could transform my mistakes into a masterpiece.
“All things are possible to him that believeth” (Mark 9:23, KJV).
Adapted from the book, Whispers From Heaven, by Dayle Allen Shockley. All rights reserved.