How often do we find ourselves in situations where we don’t understand what is happening? How many times do we fail to just trust the Lord that He has a plan and that everything is in His hands? For me, I have to admit that happens too often. I’m a planner and a doer and when I can’t make sense of something or figure it out I too often let confusion and frustration in the front door. I guess that’s why the Holy Spirit has been working on this one with me for a long time (I am getting better though).
This subject came home once again the other morning as I was reading the Book of Isaiah. In the 13th chapter there is a perfect description of how God works in our life and how it looks a whole lot different at the moment than it does after the fact. First God used Babylon, which throughout the Bible is without a doubt the perfect representation of the evil that is at the root of all sin, in judgment of His people, Israel. Now He turns around and uses Cyrus, king of the Medes, to bring God’s judgment and war against Babylon. And on top of that He refers to the Babylonians in a most peculiar way…
Isa 13:3 I have commanded my sanctified ones, I have also called my mighty ones for mine anger, even them that rejoice in my highness.
How strange that He refers to them as my sanctified ones… my mighty ones. Later on Isaiah even quotes the Lord as referring to Cyrus as … Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure (Isa 44:28). No wonder His ways are higher than our ways!
Doesn’t the same thing happen to us when we are confronted with situations that don’t make sense, that are not of our making? I’m not speaking of judgment here but just those thing that happen in life that just don’t make sense. Those are the times that I call part of the “Quilt.”
When I was a boy my mom made a quilt for my bed that had various patches as part of the design. Those patches came from grain sacks and flour sacks… the same ones my mom made my shirts out of. Back then the companies put out sacks in material patterns for just that purpose. Well, I was always fascinated by how the top of the quilt looked with all those squares of various patters that were so neatly arranged, and then I would look underneath and it looked like a tangle of disconnected knots that didn’t seem to make any sense at all. Isn’t that just like our life today? We see all the disjointed knots and interconnections that don’t make any sense at all, but from God’s perspective He sees the finely laid out pattern of the life He has created for us.
That’s where I think Isaiah and the other prophets of the Old Testament were coming from. In the midst of looking at the bottom of the quilt God was showing them His view from the top. Now I’m just like you and I want to see my life from the top but God only gives me a glimpse of it now and again. Most of the time I’m dealing with the knots and tangles and that is just where He wants me to be. Every now and then He will find a way to through His Word of the voice of one of His people to untangle a knot or two, but never the whole picture.
And isn’t that the way it’s supposed to be? Because if we were to see the finished quilt we wouldn’t have to step out in faith and trust the One who is doing the sewing and trust His every stitch. He is the only One who knows what the finished product looks like and all He asks of us is to trust that He knows what He is doing. And it’s only that faith in Him, our complete trust in Him, that will give us the confidence to live among the knots in our life; to continue to press on with where He is leading us when it doesn’t seem to make sense to us. To understand that for every Nebuchadnezzar God has a Cyrus.
Trust the quilt maker… every now and again He will give you a glimpse of part of the finished product… if you are patient.