You are God’s Custom Canvas

Most of us are driven…to be successful and the BEST. We want to “arrive” at success and wear ourselves out trying to get there. God recently reminded me that the work He’s called me to do is His. There is peace and joy in allowing Him to set the course and get me there in style… you too!

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Being sick—taken out of the game of life’s commitments—is so tough. But sometimes that’s what it takes for God to show us that He’s working through us, in us and even in spite of us.

Recently I was so ill that I could barely get out of bed and, ironically for a radio host, had lost my voice. The most I could do was whisper. Helpless is an understatement.

But the Lord chose to use that experience to remind me of His supernatural ability and lavish love. He’s been telling me to “cease striving” and simply do my best work to honor Him, but without concern for the outcome or success. I’ve been obeying and that has given me tremendous freedom and peace.

When I was at my weakest I received an email inviting me to expand my Bold Living radio show from half hour to an hour. I was surprised and honored but simply praised God and asked Him to direct my answer.

The next day I got an email from a man I’d only met once telling me his company was very interested in sponsoring the show. After a croaky phone conversation, it was settled.

I was so stunned by all God was accomplishing in two days without me doing a thing… let alone “striving.”

My new hour-long show will begin March 2nd at 11:00 AM, still on KPXQ 1360 AM in Phoenix. The people there love God and are so talented they could make anyone sound like a pro.

My new sponsor is This is a (Christian) family business that creates custom canvases from your photos. I found them when I ordered a Christmas present for my husband. The technician was so patient (because I’m very tech-challenged), but resulted in the piece of treasured art pictured above. (Poor photography skills are all mine!)

What I learned, once again, was that when we lay our paintbrush down and rest, God will pick it up and resume the strokes of His masterpiece on the canvas of our life. He doesn’t want us to strive and worry about mistakes or success. He simply wants us to love Him, listen to Him and wait to see what brilliant, unique piece of beauty He is going to splash onto our canvas.

If you are filled with worry or knocking yourself out for success, I hope you’ll stop; take a few deep breaths and remember that He is able and will do “immeasurably more than you could ask or imagine.” Do your best and don’t worry about the rest. There is an artist at work in your life with a vision for the finished design…and it is breath-taking!

If you’ve learned this lesson or are struggling with striving, share your wisdom or need for encouragement in a comment below and be sure to share this post to inspire others.

*This week on Bold Living, KPXQ will be replaying a terrific interview with Hester Christensen about Keeping God in the Middle of Marriage.

**Check out Like them on Facebook and thank them for bringing you Bold Living! If you type BOLDLIVING in when ordering you will be given a huge discount!

  • Joni Corby

    I really need to take this message to heart. God is the artist and He will continue to paint His masterpieces with or without my help! He is able to bring just the right colors to the canvas and the results are always unexpectedly beautiful. Thanks for the reminder.

  • Diane Markins

    Joni, you know how much I want to “please God with my success”… That is so misguided and we not only make less progress, we don’t honor the Lord through the effort. You are a women who has “divine brush strokes” all over your life. Keep resting!

  • Hester Christensen


    I really love your post as it clearly testifies to God’s work in our lives without an ounce of effort on our part. Don’t you just love how He works? I’m so very happy for you. I really love this line:

    “God will pick it up and resume the strokes of His masterpiece on the canvas of our life. He doesn’t want us to strive and worry about mistakes or success. He simply wants us to love Him, listen to Him and wait to see what brilliant, unique piece of beauty He is going to splash onto our canvas.”

    Beautifully written Diane. Thank you also for airing the show I did with you again. What a compliment and blessing. Thank you.

    Love, Hester 😉

    • Diane Markins

      So true Hester… I love it when we get a hand-crafted message from the Lord. Thanks for the affirming quote from my post. I get a little flowery sometimes when the Spirit moves!

      It’s a pleasure to re-air your interview. The marriage tips you shared were wonderful and I’m certain those who missed it will be happy for a second chance.

  • Joan Webb

    Beautifully relief-producing, Diane! I took a few more deep breaths just reading your post. Thank you for sharing. God is Grace and it sounds like He’s pouring it over you. 🙂

    • Diane Markins

      Ah, Joan, He is! I thought of you as I rested without worry or stress while I was sick. You’ve certainly helped me be “intentional” about that!

  • Ginny

    Thank you for once again being transparent about what you are walking though in life. I believe when we speak from the heart we make heart connections. 🙂

    As a go-go-go person, God has used many things to teach me to pace myself with His will versus mine. Thankfully, He has been merciful with these lessons. We plummeted financially after my hubby’s life changing injury April of 2011, but we learned firsthand that God is faithful to never leave us or forsake us – unlike creditors. LOL.

    We’re on the other side of things now, but we learned to run to Abba on a daily basis…sometimes on a minute-to-minute basis. Our faith in trusting God’s timing has grown by leaps and bounds. By the way, God not only provided for our needs during those challenging months, but He also (often) blessed us with our wants.

    I wouldn’t change a thing about learning to trust His timing.

    • Ginny

      * through

      • Diane Markins

        Ginny you are truly authentic and transparent too. Thanks for your encouraging words.

  • Brenda Garrison

    Diane, Thanks so much. It was just what I needed to hear.
    Blessings, dear friend.

  • Mar

    Beautifully written and very obviously God-inspired, as always. You are a blessing, Di.

  • Danielle Street

    Wow! Diane, this was a beautiful story of God at work! I love how you compared our life to a canvas and encouraged us to allow our Creator to paint our picture. As I mentioned on the phone today, I am very passionate about this topic. I’m so thankful for our mighty and creative God! “But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

  • A beautiful message. I have had a 4 month battle with some physical problems and at times wondering why, but I know God has me in His Hands and what ever He is doing in my life is for the best. I have lived to many years knowing His faithfulness, and His healing powers, so I rest in Him to complete His work in me.