Happy Clouds

You are going to blow it today.

Maybe there’s a big presentation that wont go as well as you hoped.

Perhaps you’ll say something dumb to your spouse or kids.

Or maybe through a series of events, you’ll be painfully reminded of your shortcomings in a few areas.

You are going to need grace today.

My favorite painter is Bob Ross.  He’s the middle-aged white guy with an afro you’ve probably seen painting pictures on PBS.

Ross grew up in Florida but moved to Alaska after he joined the Air Force.  Ross’ time in the Air Force molded him into the painter that would be watched by millions on public television.  Before moving to Alaska, Ross had never seen snow capped mountains, a landscape that appeared in many of his paintings.  One of the things Ross hated about his role in the Air Force was having to be the bad guy.  A primary component of his job was yelling at other men.

Could you imagine turning on your TV one day and seeing the painter on public television and saying, “Hey, that happy cloud painting white dude with the afro yelled at me one time because I forgot to clean the bathroom!  What happened to his hair?”

Ross determined that when he got out of the Air Force he would find something to do that didn’t involve yelling at people.  His dream came true.

Ross’ show always starts out with him painting a blue background with some clouds at the top of the canvass.  Happy clouds.

“And let’s put a happy cloud right here.”

As the painting continues, so does the happiness.

“And let’s put a happy tree right here.  But I think this tree would like a little friend.  Here’s you a new friend Mr. Tree.  And let’s not forget the happy grass.”

Yes.  There may have been some happy grass involved but that’s not the point.

Usually, with about ten minutes left in the show, you start thinking, “This picture looks good.  He’s done.  What’s he going to do for the next ten minutes?”

And then Bob Ross makes you mad.

He takes a big fat paint brush and puts a black line right down the middle of the painting.

So much for the happy clouds.  What’s this nut doing?  He just ruined a perfectly good painting.

But just a minute or so later, you learn that the painting was nowhere near complete.  That big black line somehow always turns out to be another happy tree that draws all of the other happy trees and happy grass together in one beautiful setting.  Life is good in Happyville.

Sometimes our big black lines are fashioned by our own design.  They are the result of sin and rebellion against God (Romans 3:9-31) and sometimes they are the result of a sovereign God who is conforming us more into the image of his own Son (Genesis 45:8; 2 Corinthians 1:3-5; Colossians 3:10).

One way or another, you are going to blow it today.  But as one who has repented and put your trust in Jesus Christ, you can be sure that “he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:6) because “we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10).