A Masterpiece of Grace | May 16th, 2016
There is something very special about a particular type of vintage costume jewelry I like to collect called “micro mosaics.” From far away, one of these can look like a small and solid colorful piece of art. But once you take a look at it up close, you can see that the image is made of many tiny pieces, carefully placed very closely together:
These tiny pieces are made of glass and are called “tesserae.” They have been used for centuries to hand-assemble extraordinarily complex and detailed patterns with cement in a glass or stone background.
The tesserae they used were glass threads, approximately 3mm long and a little thicker than a human hair. The finest micro mosaics have between 3,000 and 5,000 micro tesserae per square inch! The final masterpiece was then waxed and polished, giving the finished piece a smooth appearance without any visible spaces.
Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, Italy was one of the top tourist destinations with its long history in arts and culture. During the early 1800s, commercial mosaic studios opened up in Rome as tourism flourished. Italian craftsmen began to design micro mosaic souvenirs with an architectural or scenic image the tourists had just experienced. Micro mosaic brooches and pins became fashionable, serving as a wearable image from the trip.
The Italian micro mosaic pins I have found were made years later, from the 1950s and ’60s, with a colorful floral motif:
The Master Artist
You are very much like a micro mosaic with God as the Master Artist, knowing exactly where to place each of those tiny tesserae to make up the beautiful pattern for your life. Think of those tesserae as the threads that form who you are such as your unique talents and abilities, your personality, your characteristics, and your strengths. They were given to you with a purpose of eternal significance that God had in mind for your life before you were even born!
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10
The pattern is made up of the many decisions and paths you take in life. It is intended from the beginning to reflect the Master Artist with incredible beauty. That’s why it is vital to seek God’s wisdom when making decisions that will take you toward any new direction in life. He knows exactly how the pattern should look to create the most beautiful masterpiece. However, even when you do not make good decisions or end up traveling down a path that God did not intend for you to take, the Master Artist, with His unceasing mercy and grace, can still make you, His masterpiece, incredibly beautiful.
He has made everything beautiful in its time; Ecclesiastes 3:11a
Do Your Decisions Glorify God?
Everyone has made decisions in life that have not been glorifying to God. It is easy to do when you aren’t spending quality time with Him in prayer and reading His Word. Although there are always consequences to deal with when making poor choices, God, as the Master Artist, can repurpose you through it to create something beautiful. When you have a repentant heart, He can teach you and give you the wisdom to make good decisions that do glorify Him.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
Any troublesome experience in life can be used to repurpose you by helping others who may be going through the same situation. For example, if you are an alcoholic who made many poor choices while drinking, you have had to live with the consequences of making those choices. If you are now sober and the choices you make glorify God, you can use your past experience to help others by sharing your story of how He brought you through it with those who may currently be struggling with drinking.
Your Beautiful Pattern Reflects His Glory
Whenever I wear one of my micro mosaic vintage pieces that I have repurposed into a ring, I am reminded of how much God cares about each detail of our lives. Every tiny tesserae is like a different gift He has given us to use for His glory to make up a beautiful pattern so that we can truly reflect the Master Artist.
He loves you so much, wants the very best for you, and deeply desires for you to have a relationship with Him. He is there for you to call upon for wisdom in every decision you are faced with in life. And when you don’t seek His wisdom, He is compassionate to give you the grace and strength you need to get you through the difficult consequences of the decisions you have made on your own when you return to Him.
Stay close to the Master Artist and your life will begin to reveal a pattern more beautiful than you could ever imagine.
Sparkler #1: Prayer
Ask God for wisdom with each decision you make so that you will stay on the perfect path He planned for your life before you were even born. If you are facing the consequences of making decisions without Him, pray for His grace and strength to carry you through and to give you a transformed heart, mind, and spirit to desire to do His will.
Sparkler #2: Action
Allow God to repurpose you, using your past experiences to help others learn to seek God in their decisions instead of making them on their own without Him and reaping the unfortunate consequences. Learn from your own past by listening closely to God’s voice for His guidance when you are faced with making new, challenging decisions.
Sparkler #3: Challenge
Write down any difficult decisions you are currently in the process of making. Carve out quality time each day to spend with God by reading His Word so that the decisions you make do not contradict with His principles. Communicate with Him through continuous prayer so you will be fully aware of His guidance to stay on His perfect path for your life – the path where He knows you will receive the most joy and blessing while bringing glory to Him in all you do.
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