As I visited Van Gogh’s Immersive Experience in Atlanta, I learned something about the artist that astounded me. Vincent Van Gogh was colorblind. The use of vivid colors that has achieved one of the biggest impacts on the art world was used because those were the colors he could see best. “His limitations freed him to be more creative”, one art historian noted.
He literally saw the world differently and as a result gave the world something it had never seen before. Ironically, on the way to the exhibit with friends we were speaking of situations that placed limitations on marriages, families, finances, health and more. My friends and I agreed that when God allows us to experience those limitations, he is ready to get creative in our lives.
The question is, how do you view limitations? Do they prove to be sources of frustration or do you dig in and get determined to get creative? The thing about limitations is they dim your vision. Like Van Gogh, you are unable to see what is right in front of you with accuracy. When we have difficulty in life our first reaction is to look at everyone else and ask, “Why don’t they have to deal with this?”
Scripture says, See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:19. If you are experiencing a dry place in your life that feels like a wasteland, do you not perceive it? God is trying to do a new thing. Limitations actually serve to move us forward (as backward as that may sound).
Once I was living with a limitation in my marriage. It’s the same old story with most young couples. I wanted him to be something he wasn’t and he wanted me to be something I wasn’t. I had a very difficult time seeing how things could ever be different so I started to pray. First, of course I prayed for God to change my husband, but God did something even better. He opened my eyes to how I was contributing to the problem, allowing me to see the situation in color.
But next God got really creative! I was driving a road I drive almost every single day, but the brush had been cleared from the side of the road for the first time. Behind it the entire time was the most spectacular mountain view. To this day it is my favorite overlook in our county because God whispered to me, “The husband you are praying for has been right there all along, but you can’t see him for all the growth you have let come between you and my masterpiece.”
If you are experiencing something that has put limitations on you in some way, believe that God is doing a new thing. Like Van Gogh, you may not be able to see accurately what is right in front of you, but God can. He wants to get creative and paint a picture for your future that you could never have imagined without the master Creator. Remember, limitations are opportunities to get colorful!