God’s Needlework of Grace

Tapestry has been a form of textile art for centuries. The weavers are artists who can create very intricate designs, and make such a breathtaking and desirable tapestries. When you look at a tapestry hanging on a wall, you see a completely spectacular and perfect work of art. The form, the colours, the texture, and the patterns make a tapestry a display of surpassing beauty. A real masterpiece. But when you view the other side of the tapestry, it appears to be nothing more than a bunch of  disparate threads; hanging, tangled, contorted, random, and seemingly rough. It has no resemblance to the image at the front side.

From one perspective, our life may look like the front of the tapestry — whole, beautiful and perfect. But things are not always what they seem. Turn the tapestry over, it’s a different perspective, it’s in disarray, chaotic, and worthless. Nothing makes sense. And often without clarity and understanding of how everything works together.

Each of us walk our own path, yet there are times when our individual lives intersect with another, and we realise that we are all connected in this seemingly vast and complex world. We lead even as we learn from the lives of others around us. We receive blessings in giving, and we touch other people’s lives, and they touch ours, whether known or unknown. Sometimes these connections are paths that cause us to examine ourselves, to look into our deepest selves, provoking us with passion and purpose within our hearts that we may never have otherwise known. Because of that, our lives become like a tapestry, interwoven with those whom we open our lives to; diverse and colourful, distinct and unique, yet part of a larger design. Our life is indeed like a tapestry. Each person is a vital thread that makes up our life. We become a product of the experiences we share with others.

Sometimes God gives us a glimpse at what He is weaving into the fabric of our lives. Nothing happens by chance. No thread of experience, whether good or bad, is wasted. Whereas God always look at the bigger picture, we only focus on the tiny and insignificant thing. When things appear to be dreary, we just have to remind ourselves that we are simply looking at the backside of the tapestry. And the Artist — the ‘One’ weaving it together has a plan and knows precisely what He is doing. On days when we convince ourselves that our lives are in chaos, and everything seems to be falling apart, God thinks differently. The Lord is not only the thread that runs throughout His handiwork but He is the One who holds it together to make His creation beautiful, perfect and priceless.

As we reflect in our own life, the seemingly bunch of thread begins to take shape and give new meaning, perspective, and purpose. When we make Christ the centre of our lives, we begin to look at our tapestries in a different light. It becomes rich in colour, and beautiful in design. And we begin to highlight the beauty and not the ugliness of it all because we focus our eyes on God. The Grand Weaver. The Divine Artist. The Master Planner. The Maker.

The psalmist say, “My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.” (Psalm 139:15) I’ve looked up the bible commentary on the phrase “curiously wrought” and learned that it’s the same ‘needlework’ idea that’s mentioned in Exodus 26:36 and Exodus 27:16. It clearly refers to some kind of a weaving or tapestry work. 

The more I reflect on my own life, I am enthralled to see the design God has for me as an individual. As I look back, and I know it will be all through my days on earth, there’s always little reminders to show the threads that God has woven into my life. Even today, as I reflect upon it, I can see that God has been, all along, weaving a beautiful tapestry in my life. And I can rest content that the Lord is creating a masterpiece.

 

Photo credit: V&A Museum.

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