Before there was a flag rippling over the canvas (look closely and you will see) snow was falling from the heavens, covering purple mountains and cascading down into the sea—only to return to the heavens and begin all over again. While painting this version of the water cycle, I heard the words:
For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. For you shall go out with joy, and be led out with peace; the mountains and the hills shall break forth into singing before you, and all the trees of the field shall clap the hands” (Isaiah 55:10-12 NKJV).
* Bates, Katharine Lee. “America the Beautiful.” 1913. Music by Samuel A. Ward. Published in The Hymnal for Worship & Celebration: Containing Scriptures From the New American Standard Bible, Revised Standard Version, the Holy Bible, New International Version, the New King James Version. Edited by Tom Fettke. Waco, TX: Word Music, 1986. p. 696. Print.
** Bellamy, Francis. "Pledge of Allegiance." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2016. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pledge_of_Allegiance>.
To my surprise—the morning after completing this purple and white mountain seascape—I woke up singing, “O beautiful for spacious skies for amber waves of grain, for purple mountain majesties, above the fruited plain, America! America! God shed his grace on thee, and crown thy good with brotherhood from sea to shining sea.”* Through this song, I understood that the Lord wanted this painting to express His intent to restore America to His and its original plans. He wants to make America beautiful again; "one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all"** from “sea to shining sea”* with purple mountains majestic and fruitful plains. Based on the 12th verse of Isaiah, He wants to restore joy and peace to this nation—first to us as individuals, then as families—until we are one kingdom united under God.
I thought I was through with the snowy scene I had painted—but there was something more the Lord wanted on the canvas. He wanted me to paint a flag—but not just any flag. I was to model it after the Veterans of Foreign Wars flag pictured on one of my husband's return address labels. As I followed these instructions, I was reminded of how many have lost their lives fighting for America. I’m quite sure God remembers each one of them. Their sacrifice for this "nation under God"** was not in vain and will not return to Him void. His purpose will be accomplished.
Almost as soon as I finished painting the flag over the purple mountains—the snow literally began to fall all over America blanketing it from “sea to shining sea.”* We—as a nation—have never seen anything like it before. I pondered its meaning and thought of the scripture, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow” along with the song verse, “God shed His grace on thee” from "America the Beautiful"* (Isaiah 1:18 NASB). I believe God sent the snow to confirm the intent of His word in Isaiah over us as individuals and over America as a nation. What He started in us He will finish and what He has spoken over us will be accomplished by the enabling power of His grace.
Praise God America and Rejoice!