Working on the Railway Embankment art mural this week has been an object lesson, a parable, on life itself, and especially how we need the ‘bigger picture’ to see well.

Most of the week was spent close to a very large wall, painting odd shapes. It was not always easy to see if the surface had been fully painted or not, especially when painting light grey on white or a lighter shade of green on a darker one. The only foolproof way to check was to stand further back and assess from a distance.

Similarly, when up close, it was impossible to tell what we were painting at all. Only when we backed away and looked from a distance did the funny shapes become hill contours and the blobs become clouds.

Life is like this. When viewed up close, in the immediacy of the ‘now’ with all its crises, catastrophes and calamities, it’s hard to discern any pattern at all, let alone work out how God is working for good in all these things. But with the benefit of hindsight or the chance to gain some eternal perspective on our lives, we see that He is making everything beautiful in its time. (Eccl 3:11)

We need to see the ‘bigger picture.’ Just as we trusted our artist to bring a beautiful overall picture to completion, so we must trust God to make our lives beautiful, things that will bring glory to Him, however messy they may look in the making.