I am piecing together a quilt made out of the clothes I remember my father wearing the most over the years. The process has been very healing, immersed in the fabric of my childhood. I arrange them carefully, laying patterns here and solids there. Each individual square adds character and color to the whole. I find it looks better when I take time to place them where I want them, rather than randomly throwing them together.
The events that come into my life, I find, add character and color to make me who I am today. Much like the quilt when it is finished, my life would look much different without a few hardships placed here and trials positioned there. God knows when I need these patches to make me into the person he wants me to be. As with my fabric masterpiece, my own quilt of existence would be boring and too ordinary if the squares were all the same.
If I had to be honest, though, I would request the life of the ordinary quilt. Perhaps that would not include heartache, headaches, and longing. But having been through some hard times and seeing growth in myself, I know that is not what is best for me. I trust that Jesus knows what he is doing as he sews my quilt together piece by piece. Am I looking forward to a few more colorful patches in the future? Not exactly, but I know who I'll look to when the needle pierces my fabric once again.
"Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way." James 1:2-4 The Message
Father, I admit I do not enjoy every piece you have placed in my quilt of life. Help me to trust that each trial and heartache is there for a reason. When the more painful patches come, please use them to draw me nearer to you. Someday I look forward to seeing the grander picture, how each piece fit into making the masterpiece you desired. Amen.