Squares In A Masterpiece

Life is a masterpiece, a work of art, built by the hands of God. But sometimes it’s difficult to see this masterpiece. Unlike God, our perspective is limited. We can only see sections and slivers of this grand work. I’ll use Chuck Close as an example. He’s a pretty famous artist, well-known for his really huge portraits. He’s confined to a wheelchair, so he puts a grid on his canvas and paints one square at a time. If you look at each square individually, it’s just a bunch of really colorful boxes. But when you step back, you can see what the painting really is.

A Book of Mormon prophet named Alma gives some pretty straight forward counsel on this. He said,

Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise. (Alma 37:6)

Our lives usually aren’t full of spectacular events. The hand of God is more often seen in the smaller things. The things we sometimes overlook. The things that require slowing down and having patience to see.

I know that God and Jesus Christ are in our lives, and that through the small and simple things God works His miracles. The greatest miracle, I believe, is life itself. What are some of the colorful boxes in our lives? Family and friends. A rejuvinating sunrise or a peaceful sunset. The sound of birds chirping. A family dinner. An afternoon hike. The sound of rain falling. A good song on the radio. These are just a few things that come to my mind. We all have our own.

All we need to do is take a step back and see how the squares, the simple things in life, come together to form the masterpiece.

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Small and Simple Things

A Book of Mormon prophet named Alma once gave this counsel to his son Helaman in Alma 37: 6-7,

Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise. And the Lord God doth work by means to bring about his great and eternal purposes; and by very small means the Lord doth confound the wise and bringeth about the salvation of many souls.

God is a God of miracles, but more often than not they are subtle. More often than not they are small, personal miracles on individual levels, as opposed to large, eventful happenings. While we are seeking for amazing signs that catch the eye, we may miss the simpler things in life that testify of God and Jesus Christ.

Many today say, “Where is God?” They see no giant miracle nor any enormous display of His power. This they use as their logic to be proof of a non-existent God that works no miracles. But they miss the point, and the point is that God wants us to pay attention. He wants us to live our lives in such a way that allows us to see the smaller things that witness of Him. He wants us to be meek, to be humble, to be willing to admit that we simply don’t understand how He runs things.

The small and simple things add up to great things. And we can see these great things if we only open our hearts and minds to God and humble ourselves before Him. God is indeed a God of miracles. I know this to be true, and I know Alma’s words to be true, that through small and simple things God brings to pass great and marvelous miracles.