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“Suffering produces perseverance;  perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” (Romans 5:3-5).

Magical characters reach from movie screens and beckon me into their world. Theme parks offer fresh visits to childlike wonder. Incredible masterpieces fill museum halls and garden paths. I relish each chance to drink in the inspiration of imagination.

The Father molded each of us in His image. He crafted unique works of art, kissing individual personalities with a different spritz of His creative sparkle. In a delightful chat with a 72 year old Christ-sister yesterday, we explored our different means of reflecting God’s ingenuity. When I shared my work as a writer, she first defined herself as devoid of creativity. Yet, as we talked, her amazing talents with children shone (along with other strengths) as brilliant examples of imaginative gifts. The Lord engineered our differences to glimmer in harmonizing shades as part of His glorious design.

Imagination inspires, motivates, uplifts–a fantastic blessing. My coaching and writing professions require consistent supply of this priceless resource. I cannot inspire unless I drink copious doses of inspiration. My incessant thirst deems me ever thankful for each sip of creative fuel.

While magnificent, imagination fails to bless us as an end unto itself. Creativity must encourage the soul to seek something greater. Inspiration toward anything less than true hope leaves us empty. Our sparkling kisses of ingenuity must reflect the Father’s love to others. Each imaginative work which honors His touch will transform others’ souls.

In the midst of a bleak, discouraging world, we need splashes of inspiration more than ever. God designed us to “poke holes in the darkness until light bleeds through,” as Margaret Feinberg so eloquently put it. Hope must radiate from the edges of all our creative endeavors. Imagination glimmers with us on earth for a season, a beautiful tool to point others toward eternal hope.

What creative works will God use from your spiritual and natural gifts to offer hope? Comment and share with all of us, so we can inspire one another to persevere in His work of providing hope.

A shimmering sari draped over the pulpit as the storyteller mesmerized her audience. She transported the listeners into a past era. A regal ballroom came alive. The mysterious sikh and his abrupt proposal wove enchantment and apprehension into the room’s ambiance.

Chivalrous adventures from childhood, tales of battlefront survival, and bittersweet love stories followed. Friday’s storytelling event knitted colorful pieces into an artful production. While true stories outnumbered fiction, personalities shone through each line. The resplendent effect of variety bedazzled the show.

And its performers. Despite compliments from other storytellers, the evening’s underlying artwork humbled me. Each speaker represented a thousand amazing tales, dreamed and true. Their life stories stretched back decades beyond mine, into places and times I struggled to imagine. A rich field of inspiration surrounded me. 

Defer all applause, then, to the Master Storyteller. Creator of dream-generating souls, the Lord crafts remarkable life stories which envelop the universe. The magnificent tales stretch across eternity, farther than the eye can see or the mind can fathom. Each saga bears inspirational potential. Praise the Sovereign Lord, Who masters the art of variety each moment. He crafts infinity within the finite, and His creation invites us to draw nearer to the richness of His presence.

Let me take more time to sit at the Master’s feet and attend to His amazing stories.

‘…And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all people will see it together. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.’…You who bring good news …lift up your voice with a shoutHave you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood since the earth was founded? He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth…Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens:  Who created all these? He who brings out the starry host one by one and calls forth each of them by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing…The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:5-31)