My kids are making gingerbread houses together tonight. The frosting is ready, the candy out on the table…tin foil neatly rolled out and zip lock bags filled and snipped at the corner. As the walls went up (and fell) and went up again (and fell again), I could hear the groans at the table.
“My walls broke!”
“I can’t make them stand up!”
To which I replied a story from something posted on Instagram today…
I will do a poor paraphrase:
A famous concert violinist was playing. He broke a string at the start of his recital. He did not stop to restring but instead continued with the whole concert playing on a less-than-par instrument. At the end he said this, “Sometimes it is the artist’s task to find out how much music you can make with what you have left.” -Itzhak Pearlman
I read this inspirational story to my kids and away they kept working. I thought about what John and I are teaching them. Teaching them to persevere when it seems as though the task is not working. Endurance when the thing in front of them is hard and requires energy and concentration. All of which are valuable, valuable lessons.
A few short minutes later I was so blessed when Abi called out into the living room from the kitchen table, “Mom, my house fell down, so now I am making a garden!”
Oh the joy!
Yes, dear one. Yes. Make something beautiful. The Heavenly Artist does the same. We sin. We fall. He just keeps creating goodness out of it. We stumble. We “fail”. He adjusts His palette and washes over the mistakes with His beautiful skill of making beauty from ashes.
Don’t be afraid of the fall. Be afraid of the hardness of heart that comes when we don’t confess and repent. Cry out! Repent! Oh God, turn our “fallen walls” into “gardens” of beauty and creativity that dazzles the devil and causes him to stagger and your people to rejoice with all we are! Let His grace wash over you this season. Take tomorrow as a separate day from yesterday. Accept His mercy and let Him build something creative and wonderful…even if it was a mess that you made. He is faithful when we are faithless…this is the God that we serve. So don’t give up on His mercy and endless grace~He has not given up on you. He can rebuild the walls that have fallen, the pieces that have not stuck the way you wanted them too…all are in His hands to restore. Christmas is just the right season to realize and receive this great gift. This gift of Grace. And the cross of Jesus Christ won it all for us.