Living the Colorful Life

God lives a colorful life . . . or maybe better said, God lives His life in color!

All we need do is look around. Color is everywhere . . . in nature, in people, even in feelings, ideas, and circumstances.

Living with the whole box of crayons

But as Christians, who embrace a color-loving God who gives us fullness of life through the indwelling Spirit, we most often live inwardly in colors muted and shaded and not alive.

Why is that, I wonder? 

Recently, while leading a group of sweet sisters in the Lord through my book The With-ness of our God, I did an object lesson/craft with the group. It involved envelopes and colored cards to show that the Triune God is united with us from both directions: both in us and us in Him, through faith in His Son.

The with-ness of our God

A lesson or so later, I was reviewing chapters and asking the group for key words or ideas for each. Helen spoke up when we came to the chapter on our union with God which was connected to the object lesson. She said, "Color!"

Wow! Color. Interesting.

At first I was confused, then I got it (probably in a different way than Helen had meant). Let me explain.

Most of us as believers start out with a partial view of the gospel. We know Jesus the Son of God died for us, to pay the penalty for our sins so that we can go to heaven when we die. But in the meantime, we do the best we can to try to please God and live the way the Bible says Christians live: lots of self-effort, some help from God, more self-effort; failure, bits of success, quickly followed by more failure . . . and then the self-rejection that so easily takes over.

So then everything, even the joys and delights of life, get shaded with the grays and blacks of defeat. Everything becomes muted and dulled.

tucsonaz.jpg

It makes me think of the pollution creeping in from L.A. that obscured some of the beauty of the Santa Catalinas when I was a student at the U. of Arizona in the early '70s. Or I imagine that the pollution of the steel mills of Pittsburg or the copper smelter in Globe-Miami, Arizona (my husband's hometown) muted the landscapes of the surrounding areas back before government regulation.

Is that what our self-efforting religious activities do to our soul's ability to really see? Does it obscure the beauty that's really there? 

But when we finally realize the truth -- that the Lord lives in us, and through us, as us -- it's like being born again, again! Everything comes alive . . . or colors up (as my grandson Carter and I say when our online hidden pictures come alive with color).

All is new and alive when we begin to live from the indwelling Christ, rather than by our own strength and ingenuity. Every day then unfolds with the fullness of color when we live from the life of Another, the Author of His own colorful life which He imparts to us.

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Now sometimes the colors we encounter are gray or black or red or purple . . . the hard things of life. But then by faith we know that the glorious golden God is there all the time, within and all around, whether we see Him or not.

I love these verses in Psalm 139:

If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
    and the light about me be night,”
    even the darkness is not dark to you;
    the night is bright as the day,
    for darkness is as light with you. 
Psalm 139:11-12 ESV

But then there are other times when the the light bursts through, and we get to see Him and His working as if in technicolor!

Recently, the Lord gave me a delightful gift . . . a Bluegrass gospel song, performed by a sweet little group Truly Blessed at BellHOP Cafe, a favorite local Christian coffee shop. When I heard this song I knew it was God's timing to post this blog series.

Here are two versions of this delightful song. The first has amazing nature photos with Dolly Parton's sweet voice; the second, the male voices of the Country Gentlemen for a different touch. Enjoy each in turn and praise the One who enables us to live each day in His Coloring Book!

PS Be sure to "stay tuned" to the next couple blogs for the rest of this series, which will include a guest post that is truly amazing.

God's Coloring Book

Today as I was walking
In the fields just down the way
I sat down on a fallen log
To pass the time away

And as I looked around me
The more that I did look
the more I realize that I am viewing
God's coloring book

I saw a golden ray of sunlight
A silver drop of dew
A soft, white floating cloud
Sailing cross the sky 'a blue

A yellow dandelion
Pretty evergreen
And some red and orange flowers
Growing wild along the stream

And the more I look around me
And the more that I do look
The more I realize that I am viewing
God's coloring book

The grain and sand in old man's hair
The pink in BeeBee's cheeks
The blackness in a stormy sky
The brown in fallen leaves

And the multicolored rainbow
Stretched out across the sky
And the purple haze at sunset
Just before the night

And the more I look around me
And the more that I do look
The more I realize that I am viewing
God's coloring book

Then I turn my face toward the sky
And say a silent prayer
Though God doesn't speak to me
I see him everywhere

He is all around me
He's everywhere I look
And each new day is but a new page
In God's coloring book

Each new day is but a new page
In God's coloring book