With a group of young Ugandan children gathered around me, I held up a cluster of watercolor paintbrushes and asked, “What are these?” “Spears!” they shouted in unison.

The boys and girls had never seen paintbrushes before. Though smart and talented, they lacked access to resources common to many people around the world. It was a joy to introduce them to this art form, and to watch them apply paint to paper after dipping their brushes into water drawn from the well that had just been dug in their remote village.

As the children made watercolor paintings that beautifully depicted their surroundings, we talked about our artistic God who “created great sea creatures and every living thing that scurries and swarms in the water, and every sort of bird—each producing offspring of the same kind” (Genesis 1:21).

By wisdom and power, God took a “formless and empty” earth (Genesis 1:2) and filled it with what was needed to sustain life: light to see and mark the seasons (Genesis 1:3-5,14-17), food to eat (Genesis 1:9-12), and humans to “reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground” (Genesis 1:26).

As the children painted images—such as chickens, cornfields, drums, and church buildings—that were already familiar to them, they pointed to the God who spoke the earth and all its wild array of inhabitants into being. They were imaginative in the use of their colors and techniques and reflected that each of them—like each of us—is a masterful creation of our Lord, created by Him and in His image (Genesis 1:26-27), with gifts and talents that enable us to further showcase His “very good” handiwork (Genesis 1:31).

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Matthew 5:31-48