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I had the privilege of visiting the Accademia Gallery in Florence, Italy that houses the amazing sculpture of David, carved by the great Michelangelo himself. As you enter the gallery, you’re ushered into this long, narrow hall. Now at the end of the hallway stands the David in all its miraculous glory, but along the path leading up to him you see partially carved blocks of stone. Fascinatingly enough, these were all of Michelangelo’s mistakes! Some had very little carving; some were almost completely formed, like a body that had somehow been trapped in stone. While several of these pieces were practice stones, some were works of art in progress destroyed by one wrong cut.

Sometimes I can feel like that, like that last big cut in my life has ruined and destroyed me in ways from which I will never fully recover. The pain is too great; the wound is too deep. I feel trapped, unable to be released from the stony prison of my mind and heart. I may run around and try to mask it with a lot of activity, or shove the emotions down so deep they rarely gurgle to the surface, but inside I know I’m cut, broken. I feel alone.

It’s in those moments I have to remind myself God is my sculpture, not Michelangelo. God doesn’t make mistakes. He doesn’t use me (or any of us!) for practice marble. He is the Master sculpture, the great I Am! When the thief comes in to deface and destroy me, God knows how to work around that bad cut and still release the masterpiece within me. Even when I’ve been the one knocking that hammer to all the wrong places, wounding and scarring and destroying myself until all I see left is a pile of rubble, God is still God. He still knows how to pick up each tiny piece and recreate it into something even better, something miraculous.

The prophet Isaiah put it this way: “[God] has sent me to repair broken hearts, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners … to give them a beautiful crown instead of ashes, to anoint them with gladness instead of sorrow, to wrap them in victory, joy and praise instead of depression and sadness. People will call them magnificent …” Is. 61:1b-3 (Voice, NIV)

I love that! And I love knowing that even when no one else gets what I’m going through, God does. He absolutely, positively gets it in all of its ugly, messy, painful glory. He understands it even more deeply and clearly than I do. He knows without one bit of hesitation how to heal and empower me to move forward. He not only sees me right now at this very moment more clearly than I do, but He also sees the amazing person He intends for me to become.

So I’ve learned to lean on His vision for me during those times of deep refining until I begin to believe again in what He has in store for me. I’ve watched Him mold me into something greater, wiser, stronger, and yes – more joy-filled. He helps me step into my truth: I am sacred, special, loved. He reminds me that not only can I make a difference, I already have.

How about you?

For further thought: “Now all of us reflect the glory of the Lord as if we are mirrors; and so we are being transformed, metamorphosed, into His very own image in ever increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another, just as the Spirit of the Lord accomplishes it.” (2 Cor. 3:18, Voice, AMP)

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