I recently had to minister to one of the convalescent homes I go to and wasnt sure what God wanted me to bring as a message. I had something in mind but I really wasn't certain that was what God wanted me to minister on.
It wasn't until that morning that God revealed a message to me. I woke up with a crochet design in my mind. It was the design of a cross afghan square. I very excitedly got up, got out my yarn and crochet hook and got to it. While I was crocheting God brought the verse in Psalm 139 to mind. "You are fearfully and wonderfully made."
I finished the design and brought it with me as my visual aid and was so grateful for God's perfect timing and wonderful message.
In crochet you start with a foundation row, and with this square you work in the round starting in the center and working your way around. Working from inside to the outside.
That is kind of like how we are and God's design for us. He puts a substance in us, the foundation, when he creates us. He has a purpose and plan for us and it's a good one. Life can often throw things at us that could mess up that design, at least that is Satan's plan. However when we are saved God takes over. Sometimes as a result of sin in us and around us there are flaws in the design. Sometimes we try to decide what we think the design should be and try to create it ourselves. Then we fail and falter and it is only when we submit to God everything we are, is he able to take those mistakes, tangles and snarls in the design and fix them. God may have to do some ripping back to correct those places. "Ouch" is an understatement. Usually it's our pride that hurts, or things don't go along with what we pinned our hopes on and it hurts to realize that that was not the right dream God had in mind.
Sometimes we get stuck on a row because we don't understand where it is leading us. We don't see how going in this particular direction will fit into the whole design. I have followed patterns where I couldn't see how the design was going to look like the picture until several rows were done, because the rows build on each other and only made the whole design take shape when I finished the next row. That can be a scary place to be. The anxiety builds and worry sets in. Will it come out ok? What will it look like to others if I'm mess this up? I don't understand this next stitch (step), it doesn't seem right. We can get frustrated and want to put the whole thing away and hide it somewhere so no one will see. We can get to a place where we dont' make any progress at all because we just don't trust the directions and in turn trust the one directing.
God wants our trust but he will never force us to make the next step. He waits patiently, but sometimes has to give us a little nudge to get to the next level. The next row can only be started by somehow getting from the top of the previous row to the top of next row. Often we have to chain up to get the height of the next stitches for the new row. In life we don't always feel we are ready to take that step in the next level. We don't feel prepared. But we have to stretch ourselves a little and work that beginning chain. Taking a leap of faith to step out to where God wants us.
And of course we all get frustrated sometimes when Jesus is on the inside working his way out but he is not showing through enough because our humanness often falls short. That is where we need the Holy Spirit to step in and fill the gaps, or support our previous efforts (stitches) to create the design God intended.
Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
The expected end is God's whole design for us. One with peace in its works.The good news is God knows what he is dong. Phew! I certainly don't. I don't have a clue and can't see the future. Good thing because I think if I did I would cower in fear of some of those rocky paths ahead. Or tricky stitches in this case. :)
Pattern for this square coming soon.