Last year, a recent discovery rocked the art world.  An original painting of Vincent van Gogh was discovered after being discarded and dismissed as a fake for over one hundred years.  The “Sunset at Montmajour,” estimated to now be worth tens of millions of dollars, was stored a away for decades in the obscurity of someone’s attic.  It was in the collection of Vincent’s brother until his widow sold it to an art dealer in Paris who later sold it to a Norwegian dealer.  Soon after, it was “declared” a fake, and began its one hundred year journey of being unknown, unwanted, and undervalued.

Imagine that! An artistic masterpiece was tucked away, unknown to the public, and dismissed by art historians because no one knew its real creator.  What a tragedy!  All because outside observers got it wrong, this wonderful work of art was hidden, tossed aside, and rejected.  Yet, today the same piece that was hidden and neglected is now displayed and spotlighted.  People have flocked to see it, media has rushed to cover it, and collectors may be lining up to buy it.  It has gone from worthless to invaluable all because we now know who created it.

I began to wonder how many of us have lived a “Sunset at Montmajour” existence.  How many of us have allowed outside observers to underestimate, under-appreciate and undervalue us?   More importantly, how many of us have begun to believe about ourselves what others have “declared” about us?  How many times as a result of, being rejected, neglected, and/or dismissed have we begun to tuck away our talents, make ourselves small, and hide our best selves?  How many of us are hidden when we should be displayed, marginalized when we should be cherished, or neglected when we should be spotlighted?

The thing about the “Sunset of Montmajour” is that not one thing about it has changed since it was created except outside opinion.  It was always real, even when no one knew it.  It was always valuable, even if no one thought it. It was always great, even if no one acknowledged it.  Such is the case with you.  You are valuable, your worth is immeasurable, and your gifts are made to be shared with the world.  The thing that makes a Van Gogh painting priceless is the same thing that makes you precious and prized – your Creator.  The difference in you and the “Sunset at Montmajour” is that you don’t have to wait for someone else to connect your life to your Creator.  You are created, preserved, and sustained by God.  This means you don’t have to be bound by outside opinion, and you cannot afford to be convinced that you are not a masterpiece.  Once the world believed the painting was from the great Van Gogh, it changed the very nature of how the world treated that work of art.  Once you believe the greatness of your origins, you can live into becoming the tour de force you were created to be.  You are God’s artwork …. LIVE LIKE IT!

Humbly in Christ’s Love,

Pastor B.A. Jackson