Tuesday, July 6, 2010

ENCOURAGEMENT TUESDAY

Sometimes life just seems to happen and we are left searching for encouragement. Anything to lift us up, to bring us hope. Just something to grasp,letting us know all is okay. I know for me, when thing are rough, I find myself in my husband's arms. There is just something about having those loving arms around me that makes you feel safe. You feel the warmth of love, and the security of knowing no matter what happens everything is going to be okay.
We can find that in Christ. He is our heavenly Father, standing with His arms open wide, waiting to hold us, waiting to lift us up when everything seems to be falling apart at the seams. It can feel like each stitch in our lives is coming loose and all you have to do is just pull on that one stitch hanging to low, and the whole thing is going to fall to shreds. But in Christ, we can find hope. He isn't going to pull on those strings, but He is going to stitch them back together, seam by seam. He will make what seems lost, whole again. He will make that garment come together into a beautiful work that can only be put together with His purpose and plan.

I am not a sewer at all. In fact I have tried, and it doesn't seem I have that creative ability. I see the pattern before me, and have no idea where to begin. I remember in high school I had to make a shirt and a skirt. I picked out the prettiest material ever, and I really tried to put these garments together and had such big plans for them. Thought I would make this perfect, and wear it one day showing everyone what I did. Oh my, it did not turn out as I planned. I did not get an A on this project. In fact, I had to work extra hard in time to finish it. There were stitches loose, and it was sown in places it shouldn't have been. Me put a collar on a shirt? Um, there was no collar, more like a cape hanging on one side. I would never wear these little garments anywhere.

But can I just say how many times I have tried myself to put things back together in my life after they have ripped at the seams? I try and try to fix things, only to have them sewn together wrongly and the fit just isn't there. I seem to have big ideas, and boy, is my heart in the right place, trying with all my might. But when I try to fix things it just seems to become worse with each try. Yes, I am a fixer. I have a way I think things should go and well, I just step in thinking I can do this. I know how things should be.

It has taken me a long time to let go of the fact that I cannot fix something that is broken. It doesn't matter how much I want it to be perfect or how much I think something is right. It is not my place. I only see the small picture, may the pattern, but God sees beyond the pattern. He sees that garment put together with each stitch. He sees just how each stitch comes together and knows just what it is going to take to finish and bring beauty in areas I never thought possible. He knows just where to add accents and glitter. He knows where to take in and let loose. He knows the flow of the pattern and knows the speed in which to work and let things rest.

I have a favorite quilt that I cover up in when I am feeling down, or in pain. It just seems to surround me with softness and comfort. It's as those arms are around me, healing, and bringing encouragement. Sometimes encouragement doesn't have to be words, but just being there. That is what Christ does for me. He is there when no one else is. He is there to wrap His arms around me and He is there to stay through the long haul. He is the God with a plan and purpose. He is the Savior with healing hands and arms that seem to reach around the world. He knows just when we need a touch from Him and many times we find it in the strangest of places. Now, speaking of strange, remember that little skirt of mine? Although it was quite strange and didn't seem perfect, my sister took that skirt and she actually wore it and did so with a smile on her face. Even in the midst of my doubt she saw beauty. In her encouragement I found comfort.

When we are are in our deepest doubts God is there to show us the beauty within those torn stitches. He is there to open our eyes to a new beauty found in the strangest of places.

I have this old, tattered quilt made from patch work. Each square is made from old clothing. As that clothing was worn and thought to be a no use any longer, there was a woman somewhere who saw the bigger picture. She placed all these tattered pieces together to make something so unique and beautiful. As I run my fingers across the patterns I know each one tells a story. Our lives are the same. Each tattered piece that we think is torn and not worth much, God brings them together to make something breath taking.

Just as I learned to let go, to have trust, and hope in the Lord, you can too. Whatever in your life right now that seems battered and torn, God will place together each piece in His time, creating something new, bringing a freshness in the restoration of the old. He is a God in the restoration business. And He is the greatest at what He does.

When I feel the need to fix something, I go to prayer. I pray for God to restore, to rebuild, and bring all together for His glory in His time. It is in His time that all is perfect. Seek comfort in Him today. Let Him wrap His arms around you, lifting your spirits and giving you a new hope in Him.

1 Peter 5:10 "In His kindness God called you to share in His eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, He will restore, support, and strengthen you, and He will place you on a firm foundation."

When we are hurting it seems as though time is passing so slowly, but our time here is nothing in comparison to being with Jesus for all eternity in heaven in perfection.

Isaiah 40:28-31 "Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of His understanding. He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint."

Romans 15:1-6 "We who are strong must be considerate of those who are sensitive about things like this. We must not just please ourselves. We should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord. For even Christ didn't live to please Himself. As the Scriptures say, The insults of those who insult you, O God, have fallen on me. Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God's promises to be fulfilled. May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting or followers of Christ Jesus. Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."
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