“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.” – Picasso
As adults we tend to use our imagination less and less. We stop creating for the pure joy of creating. We are more focused on our to-do lists instead of the beauty that surrounds us. We stop acting silly because we are "responsible adults". But what if we have it all backwards? What if we are missing out on the best parts of life because we think we have to have it all figured out?
A couple of years ago, God began encouraging me to use my imagination. I was in the middle of planning out our summer calendar when He impressed upon me to keep things simple and stay at home.
I vividly remember one of those sunny days. I intentionally put away physical and mental distractions so I could simply enjoy the day. No chores, no mental to-do list, just me and my kids. I laid a blanket in the grass, took notice of the trees dancing in the breeze, and I felt the warm sun on my face. I just sat there, staring at my children in awe and wonder. Maddie came over and sat beside me. I intently observed her hair and began looking at a single strand. It looked like a rainbow as it glistened with multi-dimensional colors. It was shiny and reflective, and I believe it was a sweet glimpse of heaven.
The Passion translation of Ephesians 1:18 says: "I pray that the light of God will illuminate the eyes of your imagination."
Staring at her hair was God illuminating the eyes of my imagination. He was teaching me to perceive not only with my mind and eyes, but also with my heart and imagination. I felt like He was inviting me to use my imagination as a way of communicating with Him.
“If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves; But when they attend to what he reveals, they are most blessed.” Proverbs 29:18, The Message
When we stop using our imagination, it is hard to see what God is doing. He is invisible after all. But when we allow God to speak to our hearts, we begin to see what He sees.
Using our imagination in this way takes faith. Believing you are hearing the voice of God in any manor takes faith. Praying to an unseen God takes faith. Believing Jesus is the Son of God takes faith. Notice a trend?
"Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see." Hebrews 11:1
Like anything, our imagination can be used for good or evil. It is important to know HOW to use your imagination in an honorable way. Here are two tests for using your imagination wisely.
Philippians 4:8 says to fix our thoughts on what is true, noble, pure, kind, lovely, and admirable. We are told to think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
Test #1: Are you using your imagination in a lovely and pure way? Are your thoughts bringing you peace and joy?
Test #2: Are you imagining things that align with Scripture?
Sweet friend, the only way to know the answer to this is if you are reading your Bible. Here are a few Bible reading tips.
I pray that God will illuminate your imagination and reawaken your childlike faith. Love, Stephanie