Paint by Number

There was a popular fad many years ago that still seems ingenious to me – paint by numbers.  I recently discovered it’s still available and making a comeback.  For those of you who’ve never heard of it, you purchase a kit depicting a famous piece of art or beautiful landscape.  Upon opening it, you have all your paints in little plastic containers with numbers.  Your canvas has the artwork outlined with numbers listed.  You match the paint to the numbered section and fill it in.  Not the perfect activity if you’re a color outside the line type of person, but a great way to imitate Picasso.

As a young girl, I remember my Dad sitting at the dining table scrunched over his masterpiece.  I’d always ask, “Dad, what are you painting?”  He’d reply, “It’s a piece of art and it doesn’t look like much now, but just wait.”  His statements returned to me while standing in Hobby Lobby looking at the nostalgic kits.

I could almost hear the Master whisper, “You’re a piece of art, and you may think you don’t look like much, but just wait.”  At first glance, we might not be spectacular – a blank canvas waiting to be created.  But God begins His work by adding a bit of blue, a touch of red, a swish of green – each a part of the process in developing us into who God created us to be.

Ephesians 2:10 tells us, “We are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”  The Creator of the universe assures us that we are not a copy, but an original being designed and painted by Him.  All great works of art take time.  Michelangelo devoted four years of his life to painting the Sistine Chapel.  The Louvre Museum has verified that Leonardo Da Vinci spent 12 years capturing the smile of Mona Lisa.  From the day of our conception to the moment we take our last breath, God will continue to perfect us.

The colors He chooses might represent growth through a victory, overcoming an obstacle, or encountering a trial.  It might seem like our journey is taking too long or we might not understand our path.   We are looking at only the 1’s and He says, “I’m busy painting the 2’s – you’re not ready for that color yet.  When I’m done you will be amazed at the transformation.”

The Master artist continues painting, each day is another spot to fill until one day He puts down His brush and voila He unveils His masterpiece.

About Shelley Pulliam   Read more by this author...

Howdy! (A girl from Oklahoma has to use this as her greeting) I’m Shelley Pulliam, executive director of Arise Ministries and former teacher of hormone-filled 8th graders. But my real claim to fame rests in my award as second grade spelling bee champ and my recent gun-handling skills as I train to competition shoot. It helps me be on guard when Satan comes knocking. I’m a voracious reader and can frequently be found at the theater enjoying movie marathons where my record stands at 6 in one day. I’m a single, never married, who loves to pour into children at every opportunity. Let me know if you have any for sale. You can connect with me at

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