Palette of Color


Our hearts are speaking to us; we must listen to hear what they say. They tell our stories—who we are, what we struggle with and why. And even though the heart is desperately wicked, it still holds our palette of colors, the one in which we must paint. We’re not privy to select other colors just because ours don’t suit us. The Master Painter has chosen for us our paints, even though our mixing has created others. Yes, those indistinguishable browns, blended through resistance to our story. Opposition to God’s order always muddies the water.

I used to foolishly think that I could avoid deeply listening to my heart. I’d give a cursory pat to show I wasn’t completely unaware. But to deeply listen, feel and experience the full impact of that which hurt me…not so much.  I believed that I could just live life, draw within the lines and create my story. “Can’t I just live the prescribed life and not dirty things up with that messy heart?” Nope!

Our hearts reveal to us our God-given life assignments, the areas where Christ wishes to reveal His amazing victory. To avoid the heart is to avoid His choice of where He wants to show Himself strong. Imagine that, He wants to prove Himself in the place of my primal, core-level struggles. I know this is obvious to some, but I need to hear it again. To avoid the life He’s given me by refusing to feel how it impacts my heart is to avoid His victory in overcoming it.  This makes our desire to clean ourselves up before coming to Jesus seem so foolish.

Remember those days before being saved when some of us thought we had to fix our mess and make ourselves presentable before we came to Christ? It’s a crafty trick of the enemy. Get busy failing to resolve what only His life has the power to solve. It’s a merry-go-round of endless spinning. From trying to fix the mess so He will accept me, to the shame that I failed to do it again, and then right back to more trying.

In the 90’s, a friend of mine had a vision of me on a carousel reaching out for that brass ring. In her vision, I was extended in an inhuman parallel stretch to get that ring. She knew that it spoke of my level of desire. Later Martha had a word for me from the Lord: “Come off the merry-go-round.”  I had worked so hard to fix my mess, to no avail.

Coming to Christ is to approach Him in the humility of acceptance. Yep, facing that horrible mess we’ve all made. It’s receiving our stories and listening to our hearts with all the wounds, the pains, the hopes and the dreams. Within my heart is the mystery of “me.” The me that Christ called, died for, and for whom He purchased His victory. To avoid listening to and living out of my heart is to disconnect myself from the person Christ saved.  Evading the heart is to elude the Source of Life. And in actuality, it’s impossible to be shepherded by The Shepherd without living from your heart.

Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward Him and said concerning him, See! Here is an Israelite indeed [a true descendant of Jacob], in whom there is no guile nor deceit nor falsehood nor duplicity!
John 1:47 AMP

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I love how the Holy Spirit teaches us through our daily encounters. You have shared about your art classes John, and this is a wonderful lesson you are being taught as you take His yoke upon you and learn from Him. Thank you for sharing these precious insights into our hearts.


Ah, this great fight of you for you, it is quite an “spectacle unto the world” (1 Cor 4:9).

To avoid the life He’s given me by refusing to feel how it impacts my heart is to avoid His victory in overcoming it.



i needed to hear this again…… shared it so perfectly.

Annalie du Toit

Me too, Sue.

I thought about the Lord saying that we cannot even fix the least of things, and are therefore commanded not to worry about them.

Thank You, John. The post was like a soft shower of rain to me.