Our life has looked like a patchwork quilt. Have you ever seen someone piece a quilt together? It takes time, patience, stitching, ripping out seams and stitching them back together. They do not start out the beautiful masterpiece they end up. Rather they begin with tattered edges. The fabric must be cut into the right shapes and sizes before the pieces can even begin to resemble a quilt. In the end a quilt will keep a person warm through the coldest of winters and what once seemed useless, now has purpose.
It’s easy to question God through the cutting, sewing and stitching process. I know in my experience I probably ripped out my own seams and God had to sew them back together. It hurts and it makes no earthly sense. It has required continual submitting, quieting and resting.
I get angry at the length of time it takes God to do his great work in me. I get tired and grow weary of doing good, what good? It hurts! I want to move away from the hurt not walk and certainly not run towards it. I get tired of not knowing what tomorrow holds, I like the good, kind of adventure. The ones you have a map and a destination and the stops are outlined along the way.The kind of adventures you know you have plenty of food and water to see you through to the end.
Not the kind of journey where your pack horse freaks out and causes your mule to do leaps, jumps and spins you didn’t know they were capable of doing (true story). Not the kind of journey where you emergency dismount from the aforementioned mule, bruise instantly on the whole right side of your body and can barely walk for days. The kind that require Vicadin to function, which makes you feel worse and you wonder if you are better off limping along with the pain rather than tripping and feeling better.
I do not appreciate emergency dismounts, which it feels like I have been doing for over half of my life. Which leads me to wonder if I was to sit, be quiet and pray like the Lord has continued to ask me to do, rather than attempting life on my own. Perhaps I wouldn’t have had so many emergency dismounts in the first place. But, waiting is painful and what good does it do to pray? It’s ok, I’ve asked myself that same question and I know God is big enough to handle it. I put my nose to the grindstone and pull for all I’m worth, even if it’s not the stone God wants me to move. In my mind at least something is moving, but then it ends up being wasted energy. Surely, if I work more and try harder, then we’ll go somewhere faster. Nope, life doesn’t work that way. It’s one small step in front of the other.
It’s even harder when you know God has a calling on your life to accomplish something. I hate sitting and waiting. I have so many awesome things I want to accomplish. Do you know what waiting does? It allows me to see what God wants me to do rather than being so busy unsuccessfully doing my own thing and throwing the one thing God has asked me to do out of the way. Do you know how well it works? It doesn’t, because that ONE thing God asked me to do, he cares about, it matters to him and he called ME to do it.
How do I accomplish everything God has called me to do? Oddly for me, I have found it is not a busy action. Rather it has been by sitting quietly and praying. Letting God do the painful cutting, pinning and sewing. Being quiet and praying allows me to get out of God and Mark’s way so they can do the work they are called to do. Which in some ways is what I’m called to do, but also very different.
Here’s the awesome piece of all of this. God cares and knows I do not sit still well. He cares about my heart and my drive. He loves me so much he lets me emergency dismount and he waits, ready to catch me. He shows me in these moments what good, kind and loving father looks like. In his kindness and love he teaches me to sit, be quiet and pray. Because of Abba’s love for me and Jesus saving me, one of these days I’ll be as pretty as a finished patchwork quilt.