I’m going to paint you a picture.
You’re relaxing on the sofa. A child dear to you [insert child of your choice] careens into the room, dances up to you, and thrusts a drawing in your face. “Here! I made this for you!”
You take the drawing, “ooh” and “aah” over the scribbles, maybe turn the page this way and that to ascertain the subject matter, but it doesn’t really matter to you. You’re delighted with the gift, praise the child roundly, and proudly display the masterpiece for any and all to see. [End scene]
That sounds about right, you’d agree? But let’s imagine that you respond quite differently:
You take the drawing and scrutinize it, frowning all the while. “No, no, no,” you say, “The proportion is all wrong and I know this stick person is not to scale…and since when is grass pink? If I did this drawing, I would have done this instead…” [End scene]
If I was there, I’d be chewing you out for being such a jerk to a kid. Fortunately, this criticism of the child’s work is not how most of us would respond. Sure, the hair on the stick person looks like fire and the dog is taller than the house, but so what? We know the intent and the love behind the drawing; we treasure the gift because the child made it especially for us.
These scenes dropped into my mind this morning followed by the thought, Why is it ok, then, to criticize how God made me? Ouch. How often have we thought (come on now, I’m preaching to myself here, too!), “I wish my legs were longer,” or “I would have shaped my jaw differently,” or “If only I had a more affable personality.” I have even joked (partly) with God that He mixed up my sister and I. My sister, who has an uncanny ability to be naturally good at nearly any sport she tries, has a narrow and delicate build. I, on the other hand, whose sports consist mostly of ballet, possess an athletic build.
That is only one part of my make-up in which I’ve questioned God’s design, not stopping to think how there is love, and intent, and purpose behind His creations. My thoughts and complaints have proclaimed, “I’m junk” instead of declaring with David, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalm 139) What’s more, my proposed “corrections” have said, “I could have done better.” The audacity! Such thinking is spitting in the face of the one Who formed me inside and out, Who cares so much about me that He knows the number of my hairs on my head each day. It is saying, like our scenario above, that the intent behind the design is of no value, that only the perfection of the final work as I define perfection is of consequence.
Perhaps it seems that likening Designer God to a scribbling child is a poor comparison. Let it only show how much greater, then, are His designs! If we can value a slip of paper with crayon markings on it because we so love the child who put them there, let us then love, appreciate, and be grateful for the designs (us!) of One whose artistic abilities are unrivalled!