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Trusting God As A Christian Visual Artist

Watercolor painting of a father with his son walking through puddles on the beach.
In His Steps, Watercolor, Sara Joseph

Remember the game we've played as children of walking in the precise footprints of the one who walked ahead of you? This watercolor of a little boy, closely following the footsteps in the sand of his father through puddles on a beach, hints of the guidance of our heavenly Father.

"In His Steps" is intended to remind the viewer of the simplicity of trusting God.


"Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." Proverbs 3:5,6


Trusting God as a Christian visual artist with every aspect of your art, especially your future hopes for it, will stretch your faith. It involves grasping at the least shred of faith and holding on through every difficult season until you find Him true to His word. There's always a gap of time when it appears to be a futile exercise. Do not quit then, just double down in faith. God is always faithful!

As you trust Him, He will grow your artistic ability, supply your material and creative needs and ensure that your gift is not wasted.

This is only possible if you habitually assert that your human understanding of life's crises is flawed and incomplete. If you're self-assured and confident of your own wisdom, choices and decisions, trusting the guidance of an unseen God will be a far more daunting prospect for you—challenging, but not impossible.

God alone can give you the assurance in the face of obstacles that your art is part of His plan. He will not only give you the resources to create, but also the audience you dream about.

I read a true account that I'd like to share. It best demonstrates the rewards of trusting God, as well as some of its challenges.

When Marcus Hamilton reached 50, working at Walmart was not what he envisioned. He was a freelance artist and illustrator, who enjoyed strumming his guitar and writing songs about his life. I’ll bet he assumed that there would always be a demand for his original, hand-drawn illustrations for various magazines.

Unfortunately, the advent of computer aided graphics dried up his market. Closing up the studio that he'd built behind his home, and finding a "regular" job at Walmart must've been very discouraging. Surely it felt like the death of all his dreams! I read that he blamed God for his trying circumstances. Haven't we all been guilty of the same thing at least once in our lives?

For awhile, it appeared as if circumstances were not only challenging, but also became worse. He suffered a major heart attack.

Hope is a tenuous lifeline to grasp when your body is weakened by illness. Despair and discouragement were waiting in the wings threatening to overwhelm him.

One day Hamilton turned on the TV and watched an interview with Hank Ketcham, the creator of the beloved comic character, Dennis, the Menace. He watched with interest, as Hank explained his desire to travel and paint.

It was an apparently impossible dream for Hank, because of his daily deadline to draw Dennis. That deadline had defined his life for forty years. He wanted to retire if he could find someone to succeed him. For Hamilton, that was an open door beckoning him to enter!

He seized the opportunity, knowing that God had been preparing him through the bleak years for just this! For two years he trained with Hank, painstakingly capturing all the nuances of the characters—precocious Dennis, grumpy Mr. Wilson, Margaret and others. He grew in the skills needed to effect a seamless transition that continued to keep Dennis the Menace an international Sunday favorite.

In 1995, Hamilton took over the cartoon, appearing in more than 1000 newspapers in over 48 languages!

Marcus Hamilton experienced the powerful reality of God’s faithful guidance. He learned that trusting God through the difficult times is never fruitless, because of God's intention of good for him.

What I like best about God is that He is unchanging! Neither does He play favorites. What He does for someone else He can do for you, if you persist in trusting Him.

When it appears as if He has completely abandoned you, the opposite is true! Trusting is possible, even if you question Him and wonder about His ways, as long as your questioning is not arrogant or unbelieving. He knows those whose hearts are tender before Him. The Bible is replete with accounts of God compassionately working on behalf of many when their trust was feeble, strengthening them as needed, until His blessing was fully manifested in their lives.

No one knows you as intimately as He does; trusting Him demonstrates confidence in His goodness towards you. What thrills you is no secret to Him, neither are your struggles. Your trust will be rewarded in ways that reveal His knowledge of the deepest desires of your heart. Those rewards may mean nothing to another—but to you, they will be precious and sweet!

Trusting God will take you beyond your wildest dreams, long after you stopped dreaming!


"Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.” Psalm 37:3


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