Ten years ago, I bought the tapestry pictured above on a mission trip. I hadn’t intended to buy anything so early into the project, but I couldn’t resist the intricacy and vibrant colors of this cloth, and I’m glad I couldn’t. It has served as a reminder to me of how I need to view and live life, especially in those moments when I can’t make sense of it.
After buying the tapestry, I started to think of my life as a thread—a thread whose length and color had been determined by God, and He held it in His hands, masterfully weaving it into the tapestry that He was creating of all time.
Just as many tapestries don’t use a thread of color in one spot only, I saw how God was weaving the thread of my life into different places and intertwining it with different people at different times. And even though I couldn’t necessarily see a pattern emerging out of my life, I knew I could trust God to weave my life into His tapestry in a way in which it would be part of a far greater design, and He would be glorified by it, regardless of how little I understood it at times.
The truth is, the summer of that mission trip felt very random to me. It was beautiful, for sure—one full of adventure and new experiences and big steps of faith. But I couldn’t understand why He had prepared certain places and events for me that summer, as thankful as I was. I couldn’t see a clear theme or make any sense out of it all. Nonetheless, I decided I would focus on pleasing Him, even when I didn’t understand His purposes. And I would trust that He knew exactly what He was doing with my life. The tapestry helped to cement those ideas in my mind.
Ten years later, life feels random once again, but in a very distinct way. This year has been full of tragedies, including the global pandemic in which we still find ourselves today and by which our lives continue to be grossly affected.
This year has felt haphazard at best. I don’t doubt that God is in control and that He is using these worldwide events to draw men and women to Him. Still, I can’t make sense of what God is doing in my own life in particular. I once again fail to see a theme to it all.
It is in times like these that I need to think about that tapestry. I need to remind myself that God still has the thread of my life in His hands, and He is still weaving it into His design in the way He desires. He knew that our lives would intertwine with this year and all of its chaotic moments from before time began, and He is still masterfully weaving our threads into this year as He sees fit. We only need to make it our aim to please Him, regardless of how much or little we understand.
One day, when this earth has passed away and Jesus calls us home, I imagine an unveiling of this tapestry that He is creating. Although we can only see bits and pieces of it from the backside here on earth, we will see the final product on full display from the perspective of the Master Weaver on that day.
Perhaps this year will be one of the intricate patterns to the piece. Perhaps other hard seasons of our lives will also form an intricate design on the cloth. Whatever the case may be, there is one thing I know—that Jesus’ life will be woven into every thread of ours. It will be at the center of the piece and will cover every inch in which our life as a believer is woven. And as we gaze at the beauty and splendor of this tapestry, our knees will buckle under the weight of God’s glory, and we will bow down and worship Him with thankful hearts for how He graciously wove our own lives into His incredible masterpiece, this story of all mankind.
In our moments when obedience to Him feels random, and we can’t understand what God is up to, let’s keep this image in mind and keep offering our lives to Him to use as He desires. We only have to focus on obeying Him and to keep having faith that one day we will see that tapestry in all its fullness.
Until then, may God help us to live by faith and not by sight. May we trust that He is using us in His master design, especially in those moments that don’t make any sense to us.