About a week ago, I sat curled up in the cool morning air reading in the story in Matthew 19 of the rich young man who asked Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life. I had heard the story so many times that I wasn’t really shocked by Jesus’ telling the young man to sell all he had and to follow Him. Throughout the day, though, I started to think about Jesus telling the man his new treasure would be in heaven. If he would give up all he had to follow Jesus, the man’s true treasure in life would no longer be wealth but eternal life with Jesus that could start the moment the man followed Jesus. Better than diamonds, rubies, or gold was sweet and simple life with Jesus forever. I spent the day pondering how often I sell myself short for so much less! How many mornings am I distracted from my reading and praying by the day’s waiting to-do list or my buzzing phone? These things are so trivial, and yet I make them my treasures so much more often than I treasure my relationship with Jesus. But Jesus calls us, with the rich young man, to leave it all behind and to just follow Him. Then our truest and best treasure will be stored up in heaven. The best part of that, though, is that we don’t have to wait to enjoy it! By following Jesus now, we get a foretaste of how sweet a treasure we have waiting for us in heaven by enjoying a relationship with Him now.
By the end of the day, I had already dreamed up how I wanted to paint the page in my Bible. I checked to make sure the page was blank and left it sitting open on my desk. The next few days were relentlessly busy and extra time to paint just wasn’t fitting in. But between prepping meals for the week, last minute grocery store trips, and cleaning up our home, I kept day-dreaming about my Bible sitting open on my desk and how I wanted to portray Jesus as my greatest treasure in life. It took me nearly a week before I got to sit down and doodle out my vision, but as I did so I realized something so precious. In that week, I had not only been dreaming up how to paint a pretty picture, but I had been meditating on Jesus as my greatest treasure in this life. In the rush of the week, I had still been thinking and pondering what it means for Jesus to be my treasure in this life and in heaven and how sweet that relationship truly is.
One of my favorite parts about painting in my Bible is this exact lesson. Not only do I get to doodle in the margins, but it pushes me to meditate on scripture over and over! While I may have still spent that first day thinking about Jesus as my treasure even without intending to illustrate it, the days of meditating that followed were purely because I was waiting for a free space of time to illustrate my Bible. Illustrating my faith pushes me to not just read Scripture and let it come in one ear and out the other, but to think carefully about what it means and how it applies to my life. I love that now whenever I hear that story, this is the visual I will imagine, too.
For this page, I kept it simple with a pen and watercolors and then made an add-in of one of my favorite quotes with random scraps I had around the house. My husband teases me for my ridiculous stash of paint sample cards, so I’ve been trying to find good ways to put them to use! While stickers, stamps and cards are so fun to use, I love how simple Bible journaling can be too. It’s not about making the most gorgeous page ever, it’s about meditating on God’s word and bringing it to life in a way that is meaningful and memorable to you! So my challenge for you is to meditate on Scripture, to let it penetrate your heart, and let that be the starting point for how you illustrate your faith this week.