thankfully, these moments where i am feeling a bit down tend to pass quickly. somehow, whether it’s through the laughter of my beautiful daughter, a hug from my husband, or even better: a perfectly timed, relevant scripture…things in the world are fine again and i am able to count my many blessings. actually, i lose count of them.
it was in a sermon several years ago that i first heard the analogy about “the big picture” being like a tapestry that God is weaving. since then, i have used this example many a time, usually to try to explain the unexplainable such as “why do bad things happen to good people?” we may never know, but i am thankful to know the One who knows.
Does suffering always make sense?
by John Piper
Certainly it doesn't make sense to us, no. But it does make sense to God. Therefore it is not irrational or ultimately absurd.
Our perspective is not God's perspective. We don't have the sight he has. There are numerous analogies of this. The one I like best, I think, is of the carpet. This one was used, I believe, by Corrie ten Boom, who suffered much as a person during World War II when she was imprisoned for helping Jewish people.
She said the suffering of the world is like looking at the bottom of a tapestry. God is weaving it from the top down, and he sees the picture developing. We're looking at it from the bottom up, and we're seeing all of these tangled threads. It doesn't look like it's making any sense at all, but it's the same tapestry.
In the Bible, God gives us enough evidence of his wisdom as a tapestry maker, enough glimpses of the big picture of the tapestry, and enough promises that he is going to make all the threads of our lives beautiful that, even when we can only see the bottom from time to time, we can trust him. And that's what we do in trouble.
We don't have to understand our own or another's suffering to the extent that we understand why it happened now, to this degree, and with these effects. We can't see all of that. What we can see are the promises, "I will work all things together for your good," and "I will magnify my grace in your weakness." God has given us enough in the Bible to know that there is a tapestry up there that I am a part of and that it's going to be beautiful. I'm going to hang on to him.
My life is but a weaving
Between my God and me.
I may choose the colors
But He knows what they should be.
For He can view the pattern
Upon the upper side
While I see it….
Only on the underside.
Sometimes He weaveth sorrow
Which seemeth strange to me
But I will trust His judgment
And work on faithfully.
Tis He who fills the shuttle
For He knows what is best
And I shall weave in earnest
And leave with Him the rest.
At last when life has ended
With Him I shall abide
Then I may view the pattern
Upon the other side.
Then I shall know the reason why
Pain with joy entwined
Was woven in the fabric of life
That God designed.