To me, this picture represents progress. It might not look like much, but given all that has happened over the past several years, this picture is a masterpiece. When Josh brought home this picture a few weeks ago, Suzanne and I were thrilled. That he could even hope to compose something as wonderful as this, even with supervision was unthinkable just a couple of years ago.
I often make goals for myself in the New Year. Some I accomplish. Others, I don't. And I often measure my success in life by whether or not I have made enough "progress" over the past twelve months. But then something happens to remind me of what is really important--and what is important to my heavenly Father. How does He see "progress" in my life? By how much I accomplish for Him, or by how closely I've walked with Him?
I often forget that God sees me just like I see Josh. My "paintings" might not be all that fancy, but if they are done for His glory, I know that He cherishes them more than the Picassos that other, more talented people might paint. It's not about how much I can do in Christian service--it's about how much I truly do for Him. And whether that's in a public setting or in the privacy of my own life, God is truly pleased with that which is done for Him with a pure heart.
Josh's painting represents that unadulterated purity of loving expression. And it gives me great hope. Not that he'll necessarily completely shed all of his challenges, but that he'll be a vibrant part of my world. And that's what my heavenly Father wants from me. To be a vibrant part of His world. By allowing His Spirit to fill me and use me to compose wonderful paintings just for Him. Most of these deeds will be known by only a few--perhaps only He will know. But if my works are acceptable in His sight--if I have a pure and clean heart that is growing in holiness, I know that I will make great progress in 2012.