How can you know what you don't know?
Ebarrassingly, a few people in this world have handed over their hard-earned cash for unfinished paintings. Some have paintings with unfinished sides and some have paintings that are unprotected with the clear coat I've now learned to use. And how I'd like to track those people down, knock on their doors and make things right. It's not possible though, most of them I don't know.
Could I ever know everything, though?
Selling the paintings without the finishing details wasn't my intent. There was no secret motive in my heart to cheat people. Selling paintings was never part of my plan. People saw them and asked to buy them. I didn't know what to charge, so I guessed and they paid and they kept paying and they're still paying. Somewhere along the line, as more orders came in, I decided I needed to know something about selling art. I noticed by visiting with other artists that finishing the edges and clear coating was expected.
So now, I've learned.
And isn't that like the lesson James tries to teach?
Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.
If you don't know what you're doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You'll get his help, and won't be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who "worry their prayers" are like wind-whipped waves. Don't think you're going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open.
Through these tests and challenges of life, we are matured, made into well-developed believers. Ask the Father. He loves to help.
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michelle pendergrass asks often and receives grace every single time.