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Illustration: Adversity

More than 2,000 years ago, a young Greek artist named Timanthes studied under a respected tutor. After several years, the teacher's efforts seemed to have paid off when Timanthes painted an exquisite work of art. Unfortunately, he became so enraptured with the painting that he spent days gazing at it. One morning when he arrived to admire his work, he was shocked to find it blotted out with paint. Angry, Timanthes ran to his teacher, who admitted he had destroyed the painting. "I did it for your own good. That painting was retarding your progress." Timanthes took his teacher's advice and produced Sacrifice of Iphigenia, which is regarded as one of the finest paintings of antiquity.

Adversity in life is God's way of refining and beautifying our lives in His image. He is the Master Artist who constantly shapes the way He wants us to be. If you haven't been walking with God, He still loves you and wants you back. It is never too late for God to refinish the colors of your heart. If you are walking with God, take comfort because He promises to love you unconditionally. (Turning Point Daily Devotional, 11/19/03)