Her tiny little toes brushed the dry dusty dirt, side to side, as she erased the work she had just completed. She took a brown, brittle stick in her hand and began to sketch again. She drew from memory the pet calf her daddy had given her. Each drawing had to be just the way she wanted it, or she would dust it away and start over.
Matilda Lotz sat for a moment and remembered the day the soldiers had come to her home. They tore down much of what her father had built to use as supplies for their war. They killed the farm animals for food. As the fighting began she saw her pet calf hit by a stray bullet. Her mother tried to soothe her first broken heart while her father moved quickly to protect his entire family.
The day after Matilda turned six, one of the bloodiest battles of the American Civil War raged right outside her home. Her father hid his family in a neighbor’s basement, and there they huddled in the damp, cold darkness. They couldn’t see what was happening, but they could hear it. The sounds of soldiers dying all around them must have scared everyone. But for a little girl with loving parents, a fine home and her precious pets, it must have been horrifying.
After 19 long hours, when Matilda and her family finally stepped out of the darkness and into the light, they saw for the first time what they had survived. It was almost impossible to walk without stepping on the body of a dead American soldier. Witnesses said it was a sight they would never forget.
Many of those who survived slipped into self-destructive drinking, unable to accept what they had seen. If not for the mercy and grace of a good God, Matilda might not have been able to go on. But she had a heart that was still beating for the innocent farm animals. Even though they were gone, she realized that in her hands she held the power to keep them with her. Her dirt drawings soon transitioned into paper sketches and, before long, she was painting on canvas.
A passion to pursue her artistic abilities propelled her away from the grim reminders of her childhood home. Matilda Lotz had a purpose far beyond the pit. What Satan meant for her harm, God worked for good. He gave her a fearless, free and independent spirit…eventually taking her to the far reaches of the world. And before her death in 1923, that little girl who once drew in the dirt became a gold medal award-winning animal painter of international acclaim.
Isaiah 61: 1-3
The Year of the Lord’s Favor
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,
to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called oaks of righteousness,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor.
You can be a victim or a victor…live in a palace or a pit…fall for Satan’s traps or follow God to the promised land. You can’t always control what happens to you, but by the grace of God, you can choose how you respond to it.
“The enemy has no authority to hold us when we are ready to get out.”
No matter what you are going through now or have walked through already, God has the power to help you overcome anything!
Be who He created you to be.
Out of His glorious riches, there are no limitations.
© Copyright 2011, KeziahCarrie. All Rights Reserved
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