Discovering Beauty in Mess and Chaos: Water Coloring with God

“Let us approach with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.”Hebrews 10:22

I love organization. It sends my heart soaring when everything has its own special place. My junk drawer should be on display in a museum somewhere. It is simply spectacular. There are ten little baskets puzzled in together, each with their own specific purpose. Secured in these baskets are the leftovers, extras, “just in case I might need this one day” stuff in our house. In my opinion, batteries have no business mingling with the rubber bands. In my spectacular junk drawer, they don’t. Boundaries and borders bring me joy.

My love for organization and order is consistent with how my mother has always compared our lives to an art palette. Each little color divided and held in place by the shaped divisions. Home, friends, faith, family, job, finances, future all properly placed.

All is well until you get pushed, tipped and tilted. The result- colors blending and bleeding into each other…murky yellows now infused with brown, blue and red. In essence, a mixed-up mess. And with it- anxiety, confusion, dismay, and at times- a life one might think is worth throwing away.

On the contrary, I have begun watercoloring again. I experimented for the first time years ago, other than in my childhood, and it has been beyond therapeutic. But deeper than feeding my creative side, it has been quenching my spiritual soul. You see, the beauty in this particular art form is in the blending and bleeding. My favorite part of painting with water is pushing myself past lines and margins. The fusion of two once independent colors now seamlessly and peacefully living in harmony. The result- boundary-less beauty.

I was assisting in a youth program, where the middle school girls were asked to pick a bible verse and decorate it with watercolor. A sweet girl came over and asked how it was possible to recreate mine.

I guided her to start with a bold green and slowly add more water until it was almost translucent in the middle. I asked her to flip her paper over, start at the top with the bold pink and do the same. The meeting of the once vibrant colors in the middle was effortless and serene. Without harsh lines or limitations.

Life is messy. We will inevitably be wobbled, jostled and mixed-up. But if God is our water, our main source, we won’t be found lost, wanting and needing again. As John 4:13-14 says, “Jesus said to her, ‘Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.’” 

God IS all we need. He WILL satisfy us. Isaiah 58:11 says, “The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” We can BECOME a well -watered garden. Despite the chaos of life, I truly believe the results of our mix-ups and blending will not be messy, but rather a beautiful masterpiece that God Himself created. A garden that He, Himself, watered.

We think our lives are best kept in safe, labeled, separated compartments. We are scared to get our hands dirty, blend and bend and reach outside our own expectations and parameters. But what happens if we invite God in?
What will He do with our colors? To our mixed-up masterpiece? Maybe, just maybe, the Master of Peace has more in store.


35609E64-DBE8-4E13-8839-E17E77592AE4 - Monica StoltzfusMonica Stoltzfus lives with her husband and three daughters just outside the Nation’s Capital in Alexandria, Virginia. She is a writer and a DIY connoisseur. You can contact her at or visit her website:

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