January 7 th 2011

Oil/mixed media on birch panel

Matthew 6:26 "Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?"

In this passage Jesus paints a picture of faith. He tells us to look at the birds and consider their lives. They don't toil, they don't stress, they don't have a retirement plan or wring their tiny hands in fretful contemplation over where they live, or what they eat. They inherently know that their Creator will take care of them. He suggests that we live the same way, asking us to trust in a loving Heavenly Father who knows what we need before we do. Interestingly He poses the question, "Are you not much more valuable than they?" Do we know that we are valued more than the birds of the air? Perhaps not. Some believe that if we do 'our part'—God will do 'His part'. And what if in doing 'our part' we find that it is not enough to safe guard us from disaster and calamity, what then? What happens when we fail in doing our part and the world as we once knew it collapses around us and we are left with nothing? It is in these times that God proves Himself faithful to do as He has promised. In verse 27 He continues, "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" He takes it up a notch. Forget about food and clothing and shelter—what about your very life?

If we believe that our lives are purchased by His blood and no longer our own but His—and that our Heavenly Father knows all the circumstances of our lives before we do and has made provision in advance, then we must conclude that we can live our lives without fear.

When I first had the idea for this painting I knew, as with all of my work, that I had to live it out before I could paint it. I had to know for myself before I could proclaim it to the world. Our family took that journey recently. My husband lost his job, and in the ensuing months we lost our house, our car and our finances; everything we had built collapsed around us, giving our loving Heavenly Father the opportunity to prove Himself faithful. And He did. And I daresay He will again. We have never missed a single meal. We have a roof over our heads and many miraculous stories to tell of God's glorious provision in every area of our lives. In Matthew 6 Jesus challenges us to live a life of faith and not worry. I hope this painting will be an encouragement to take up that challenge.

Topics: Arts Religion
Teresa Carter
Teresa Carter

Teresa Carter follows the tradition of narrative painting, utilizing the human form as the central focal point. The inspiration for the 'stories' on canvas flows from the great themes of life—hope and joy, tragedy and despair and the soul's spiritual journey.


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