In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith — of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire — may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 1 Peter 1:6-7.
Again, Lord? Another menorah?
YHWH is a persistent teacher. He is tireless and enduring. He wants us to get it, no matter how long it takes. I shook my head a little and muttered under my breath that I already knew about menorahs and we could go onto another topic, but He was resolute.
So I settled down once again and studied Exodus 25. The golden lampstand was to be made of pure gold. I stopped, meditated, and studied about the purification process.
The art project using liquid gold leaf did not go at all as I imagined. The first night, I sketched it out with graphite, then carefully and with the smallest paintbrush I could buy, applied the liquid gold leaf. You have to put the lid on the little jar and shake it from time to time, or it separates into a watery red substance with the gold settling on top. Timing is everything. When I was almost finished with the last branch, I bumped my arm against the jar and toppled it over. The paint splashed and poured onto my masterpiece. I was exhausted, in pain, and sweating. I went to bed with no sense of accomplishment.
The next night I moved the jar to a new locale — far away from my paper. The work had to be slow, meticulous and steady. I had to remember to shake up the gold leaf paint or I would draw red which would show up on my menorah. But my solution was no solution at all. About halfway through the process, I dribbled splotches onto my watercolor paper.
This was really starting to tick me off! More garbage can fodder.
Third time is a charm. Well, no, not exactly. In my God’s kingdom, there is no luck. Trickle, trickle again! I could not believe it. I tried to salvage it with white out, but it really shows, at least to me.
So why write about this grim experience? It was purifying me. I had become a “product-oriented” artist and believer, rather than a “process-oriented” artist and believer. Each morning I was studying the Word, trying to tackle it with a goal of “getting through the bible in a year” mode, rather than it getting through me. I heard my Father say, “Just slow down.” My mentor said, “chew, little lamb.” Each evening I was just trying to get the art assignment done so I could go on to greener pastures. I rushed it not relishing the time in the process. When I worked with such carefulness, I had intense hot flashes like I had never experienced before. It felt like a stoked and smelting furnace with a brush in my unsteady hand.
Okay, I will slow down … sheesh.
I think my Father delights in me. I think he even chuckled, knowing that my next assignment would be another menorah.