Endurance: The Harvest is in the Storm

Endurance: The Harvest is in the Storm

Model - Vuyisile Mgwadleka

At the beginning of my walk with God, he's showed me many miracles. Miracles from smaller prayers like 'Lord please give me more time to finish this assignment I beg you. I know I procrastinated but please Jesus, I played myself!" - and the lecturer would move the due date, or she'd be absent. I remember probably one of the greatest miracles I ever encountered was a bigger prayer for him to heal me from the grief of my mom's passing. It took years I'm not going to lie but eventually, he replaced that pain with peace. So now when I think of her I feel the warmth.

But then I started growing in Christ. His Spirit led me to the desire of reading the Bible more, finding understanding and healing in sermons, releasing my anxiety through worship, and again finding peace in his presence - while the storms were raging outside my life. I grew, and he no longer considered me a baby Christian, he saw me as a mature Christian who has learned the fundamentals - and then we went deeper. The storms were stronger, but in the process of being a student, I've been seeing that the trials have made me stronger. This artwork then is best explained by scripture in the book of James 1 verses 2-4, where he greets us in his letter and straight-up says:

"Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” (James 1:2-4 NLT)

How do I get the opportunity to exercise my faith if I never have storms? That's when I realised that that's where the harvest is. That's where I got to know a little bit more about myself, what I can handle, how faithful God is to not only be there with me through the storm but meet me with a smile on the other side, saying "see? I've got you. In you, I have placed courage - you've just gotten an opportunity to see it for yourself."

This artwork I think is best described in the book of Mark, where the disciples are in a raging storm and Jesus is so relaxed that he is taking a nap.

In the book of Mark 4 verses 38 - 41, Mark writes:

"Jesus was sleeping at the back of the boat with his head on a cushion. The disciples woke him up, shouting, "Teacher, don't you care that we're going to drown?" When Jesus woke up, he rebuked the wind and said to the waves, "Silence! Be still!" Suddenly the wind stopped, and there was a great calm. Then he asked them, "Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?" The disciples were terrified. "Who is this man?" they asked each other. "Even the wind and waves obey him!" (Mark 4:38-41 NLT)

The Modern Tabernacle

Artist’s Statement

Because my body is a temple, "it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing."

Galatians 2 vs 20-21

The encompassing of this scripture in my life is currently moving and has moved me into depths I could have never imagined for myself. This series of artworks is about my experience as a follower of Christ. The grappling to understand and to seek him in a relationship and not religion. This scripture by my favorite Apostle Paul, constantly reminds me that God chose to die for me and live in me even while I was still a sinner. That my body has now become a temple where his spirit dwells and teaches and loves in and through me. In the Old Testament, the Tabernacle (Exodus 25) during the time of Moses was a temple where God's spirit rested and ruled. It was a place of worship. It was treated with honor, respect, and reverence. Now in the New Testament, His presence left the Tabernacle/Temple and now He resides in me. And as the chosen dwelling of the Lord, He calls me to value, respect, and honor myself. This is something I'm learning in the journey with him. I have not yet attained it but I am recognizing that it is a process of unlearning all the self-judgment and criticism I indulge in. In the journey of my life, I picked up certain things along the way. I was taught that self-love was a form of vanity. That to find any worth or value I needed to be valuable by what I do and what I have to show. This entailed being good at something or performing my identity in ways, pleased people. So, people-pleasing became a part of my identity.

 When I began my walk with Christ, learning that I was loved fully and that there was nothing I did or could do to deserve it - became a struggle for me. I was a performance-based Christian and that's not the kind of relationship Christ was calling me into. And so, He is helping me slowly unlearn being approved, loved, or acknowledged for how I perform but rather start learning how I am valuable to him just because I simply am. In all the artworks I use 3 colours. Red, Purple and Blue. These 3 colours symbolize the veil of the temple. This veil, described first and most fully in descriptions of the tabernacle, was made of blue, purple, and scarlet yarn and finely twisted linen. Generally, this veil separated the holy place from the holy of holies. This place (the holy of holies) was thought to be a replica of heaven in the tabernacle. Hebrews 10:20 tells us that this veil typifies Christ’s body. When His body was offered on the cross, the veil in the temple tore from top to bottom. The veil being torn in two speaks of the body of Jesus Christ being broken on our behalf to make access to Him possible. It means that the barrier between us and him has been removed.

  • Endurance: The Harvest is in the Storm
  • Jolie Graca
  • 2021
  • Oil on Canvas
  • Unframed
  • 152 x 91 cm
  • ZAR 38,670.00
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