Masterpiece or Mosaic

Devotional by Carole L. Haines

Photo by Aaron Cloward on Unsplash

When I was younger, I had big dreams of becoming more than I actually became. I pictured myself as a masterpiece in the hands of the Master, a beautiful sculpture intricately fashioned or a canvas painted with the natural beauty of a forest-enclosed waterfall. I certainly didn’t expect life to go the way it did. 

My life has been ordinary. But God delights in transforming us—ordinary vessels—into extraordinary vessels of His glory.  

God brought me to a verse that birthed in me a new perspective during one of my most bewildering and troubling trials. It’s tucked inside the Bible story of David and Absalom’s troubled father-son relationship. The story is found in 2 Samuel 14. Please take the time to read the whole story; it is quite intriguing. But for our purposes, I will just reveal a specific verse and what it means to me. 

“All of us must die eventually. Our lives are like water spilled out on the ground, which cannot be gathered up again. But God does not just sweep life away; instead, he devises ways to bring us back when we have been separated from him.”

2 Samuel 14:14 NLT

When I first came upon this verse, I was in a place where I felt my life was ruined. Waves of misfortune and loss had crushed me by blows, sweeping over me one after another, after another. I nearly drowned in the sorrow and confusion. I was surprised to wake up alive each morning. I thought grief and loss would kill me. With everything I had gone through, I wasn’t sure I really wanted to live anymore.  

When I asked God to take me home, He said that only one death was necessary: His. He wanted me to live and to tell others how He had rescued me and given me new life.

But God truly does not just sweep life away. Neither does He give up on us—He never leaves us nor does He forsake us. He could have prevented some or all of the things that happened, but He didn’t. He let me go through them, and THAT was a hard truth to embrace.

You see, God does not always save us from our fears but saves us through them. In this way, we learn He is faithful in our griefs and losses. 

“Instead, He devises ways to bring us back when we have been separated from Him.”

I love the use of “Instead” in this verse. It’s a hope word meaning that God was active during my trials, devising a way out on my behalf and not simply an indifferent bystander. He had gone before me and was waiting for me to give Him the broken pieces of my life. So, I placed into His hands all the shards and jewels of my life. He took that precious offering and is making a beautiful mosaic instead of my idea of a masterpiece. I am a display of His grace and kindness. He can do the same for you. 

Give Him all the broken pieces of your life. Yield to His love and grace. Then stand back in wonder as He makes the most beautiful mosaic out of all your shattered dreams.


About Carole L. Haines

Haines has been writing devotions, poetry, songs, etc. for the last ten years on her blog. One of her ministries is to make crosses out of broken glass, pottery, and other materials, to give to people in crises. The message behind them is that God can bring beauty out of brokenness. For more information, visit Haines here. See her previous LPM posts here and here.


For more inspirational content, please visit our Lost Pen Blog page. To download Lost Pen Magazine, visit our Magazine Issues page.

Short Fiction: “Healing Faith”

Photo by David Monje on Unsplash
story by Hope Olowo

I crack open the window to my tiny cottage. The sun pours its welcome heat upon me, and the breeze brushes past my face. I smile while gazing upon the street bustling with souls going about their daily activities. Some people burst with laughter, and others frown. Every day holds its own worries. I have lived the last twelve years buried by one particular worry. And even nature holds me in disgust.

My heart skips as a passer-by shoots me a disdainful glance. It is not out of curiosity regarding my confinement but the outpouring of a contempt-filled heart. I withdraw, shutting the window as fast as I can and throw my weight upon it as my knees weaken.

My life has become a liability. But twelve years ago, I was called Blessed. Twelve years ago, I drowned in wealth and health. Twelve years ago, I had it all.

They say, “To get what you want, you must give what you have.” But I have given all only to receive the worst. I even lost the one thing in which I would have rejoiced should wealth have deserted me: the presence of my people.

I slump to the floor in pain. There it is again, all over the floor.

The places I have been . . . the physicians I have seen—none could help. Twelve years ago, Israel called me Blessed, but here I am now, sitting on the ground in a pool of blood and tears. I feel I will drown in this ocean of helplessness and sorrow.

Voices from outside grow louder every minute. The air bears their pleas to the Son of David. I spring to my feet and fling open the window.

Mercy is what I need.

The crowd surrounds Him, the One who gives laughter and healing to the broken-hearted. Of all the physicians there ever was or will ever be, He is the greatest. The sun gleams above him; a smile births within me.

He is what I need. I’ve heard that healing lies within Him and that just His word brings the dead to life. Surely, with a touch of His garment—

I hurry through the door and push through the crowd. Let Israel pour her disgust upon me—my healing is only six feet away.

I stumble and fall against the growing crowd.

My freedom is just a touch away.

Just a touch. . . .

About Hope Olowo

Hope Olowo is an 18-year old writer from Nigeria. One day, Hope came across the Lost Pen Magazine and decided to submit a poem. Though she did not consider herself a writer, she felt stirred to write the poem, which she submitted to the magazine. To see her inspired, beautiful poem “A New Me,” download Lost Pen Magazine Issue 3.


For more inspirational content, please visit our Lost Pen Blog page. To download Lost Pen Magazine, visit our Magazine Issues page.

     

Don’t Let Your Crisis Become Your Destiny

Photo by Felix Rostig on Unsplash
Article by Karin Thompson

When we have problems that overwhelm us, we often allow them to control us, too. They end up controlling our emotions and moods, our sleep, and our lives! We eat, breathe, and think about our problems all day long. We become so focused on them rather than the answers in God’s word. God cannot communicate the answer to us because we cannot quiet our minds enough to hear His voice. Ultimately, we should give all our cares to Jesus.

6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7

Giving our problems to God allows Him to move on our behalf. The key is to leave our problems with Him and to avoid taking them back. We can trust God to handle our problems and to show us the way out.

We should live each day in the joy of our salvation, knowing God is greater than any problem we have. God can take care of it. He is our Father, and He loves us more than we could ever imagine. He only wants the best for us.

Give your burdens to the Lord,
    and he will take care of you.
    He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.
(Psalm 55:22, NLT)

Give your burdens to the Lord. He will take care of you. He will sustain you. He will not allow you to slip and fall. These are amazing promises. 

God has our backs. 

I encourage you to lay your crisis at His feet. Allow Him to lead and direct you. Keep your mind on His Word rather than your problems. Soon, the answers will become clear, as will the right directions on how to move forward. You can be at peace, knowing God is working behind the scenes to turn your crisis around.


About Karin Thompson

Thompson’s passion is to author books that keep readers turning the pages while leaving them with something deep to think about after the last page has been read. Thompson desires to encourage the Body of Christ in the faith, to help believers grow closer to God, and to help them fulfil their God-given life assignments. Thompson is the author of two books, Encouragement For The Weary Soul and My Journey To Enjoying My Life. Visit her website for more information.


For more inspirational content, please visit our Lost Pen Blog page. To download Lost Pen Magazine, visit our Magazine Issues page.

Patiently Waiting

Article by Anne Etim of OurSharedTales

Photo by Osama Saeed on Unsplash

We are all in a hurry to get somewhere in life. We have various goals and achievements we want to attain while we are still alive on this earth. Some of these “goals” and “dreams” get the best of us, especially when we are consumed with the desire to attain them as quickly as possible. We hardly hear or listen to the “still small voice” of direction and caution: “Where are you rushing to?” And if a friend were to ask us that question, we might find it somewhat offensive. 

But, really. Where are we rushing to? Are we living this life in competition?

The next best thing to desire in life is patience. It may sound confusing or unreasonable, but it is necessary. Without a doubt, there are many beautiful things in this world: ideas, inventions, and many steps to follow. But are we patient enough to be guided to the best, safest, and worthiest choice? Acting with patience is one way of letting God guide us and manifest His glory.

A minister once said, “If God were in a hurry to end the world, how many of us would be saved?” Many of us may not want God to be in a hurry for Judgement Day when we consider how many ways we failed or sinned. And we say, “Thank God, Jesus didn’t come today or yesterday. It’s another chance for me to do better.” With all the heartbreaking things that have happened in the world, God is patiently waiting for more of His children to return to Him so they may be saved.

If God is patient with us, can we be patient with Him to do His work in us and through us and at His own time? We all must take steps in life, big or small. We all must go through doors to reach our breakthrough and our heart’s desire. May our spirit be guided to the right door into the right path of life. Hastiness may urge us to act, pressuring us with anxiety, fear, bitterness, and broken hearts. If we are not careful, we may forget our source of salvation and sink into the deep hole of impatience.

Hesitation is not the lesson here; guidance from God is. When He orders our steps and guides our paths, we should not hesitate to march to where He leads us. We will surely arrive on time. 

Do you hear His voice saying, “WAIT JUST A LITTLE LONGER!”? If you do, do not harden your heart; be patient and walk with Him. That way, what you seek will land at your feet a hundred-fold. The longing and toil will have paid off because God gives His children His best. 

What more can we say to this awesome God? He is mysterious in all His ways, and He never sleeps nor slumbers, especially when His children are in need. With arms lifted high, with songs of praise on our lips, we shout to Him with joy, “I will wait for You until my soul is satisfied.”

About Anne Etim

Etim is a storyteller who loves to showcase her short stories and inspirational writing on her blog. When she is not spending time with her family and friends or running her business, she is diving deep into creative writing or reading a new favourite book. Visit Etim on her website, Instagram, or YouTube for more.


For more inspirational content, please visit our Lost Pen Blog page. To download Lost Pen Magazine, visit our Magazine Issues page. To view Dyane Forde’s interview with Anne Etim, click here.

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