“It’s all about the process”.
That is what I heard while studying art in college. “If you don’t like the process of creating art, then you won’t like being an artist”. This is a truism: the process itself is where the product of art comes from. It is the emotional, physical, and creative endeavor the artist takes in order to create something physical out of something conceptual. This is why I appreciate Jackson Pollock’s work – his process is the art. What we are seeing is the documentation of the process he’s taking to make the art.
How different is the journey of our Christian faith? God is the painter, we are the Jackson Pollock painting, and the creative process is one that lasts a lifetime. We are the visible masterpiece of God’s work…always in process.
A testimony to this spiritual process of sanctification can be found in Paul’s words, “we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)
After recommitting my life to Christ, I recognize that my person has experienced this process of re-creation several times over. Like a Jackson Pollock painting, where the layers of process are a palimpsest of God’s work in me. Traces of the old person can still be seen through the new person that I am, and with the ever changing process of sanctification, the new person today will be the old person tomorrow.
The process of change is just that — a process. It certainly is not a perfect thing and can be messy or painful. It seems that after overcoming a difficult circumstance or emotional hurdle, a new person emerges. God offers us this matchless consolation, “Count it all joy, my brethren, when you meet various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2-4)
Difficulties and pain are one of God’s greatest tools in shaping us, but so is simply walking with Him. Since I have started walking with Christ, bad behaviors I have had in the past are no longer desirable. The more time I spend with Him and walk in His presence, the more I am changed and WANT to change. It is incredible how little I actually do to be changed by Him. My biggest contribution is that I just say YES. Our Lord does the work shaping my desires that I may be “sanctified by the Spirit for obedience to Jesus Christ”. (1 Peter 1:2b)
This is the beauty and excitement of this sanctification “process”. This process is true for everyone who follows Christ, as we are all being crafted into His image – continually. His glory is revealed on the canvas that is the testimony of our lives!
This article was written by Communications Coordinator, Megan Stanton.
Photo: “Blue Poles” by Jackson Pollock, 1952; via Wikimedia Commons