Tapestry (Part 1)


Front and back of a tapestry. Image credit

Life is a tapestry, not a tragedy. It’s meant to be an art, not an agony. But the reason why we only see the tragedy and the agony in our lives is because we tend to focus on what see from our side. I like what Pastor Tim Challies of Grace Fellowship Church in Toronto, Ontario wrote in his blog:
Have you ever compared the front and back of a tapestry? The front of a tapestry is art. In the hands of a skilled weaver it displays incredible artistry and fine detail. The world’s best art museums collect the world’s best tapestries and display them there as examples of a rare but beautiful form of art.
Image credit
The back of a tapestry is a mess. A tapestry is made by weaving together different-colored threads, and the images and designs are created by the interplay between the different colors and textures. What is clear on the front is opaque on the back. The back shows something of the image, but it looks more like a child’s attempt than a master’s: it lacks nuance and clarity and detail. Where the front is smooth, the back is covered in knots and loose ends.
We are meant to see and admire the front of the tapestry, not the back,… [1]
We are to see our lives from God’s side. If we could only compare the view from our side and from God’s side, I believe we would end up with the same conclusion that the apostle Paul came up with: “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” (Romans 8:18) There’s no comparison at all. This should lead us to anticipation, not anxiety. 

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However, the back of the tapestry is as important as its front. Without the mess at the back, we won’t have the art at the front. And so, when life does not make sense to us at all, remember that we are only seeing the back of the tapestry. Someday, the knots and the loose ends of life would make sense. What is opaque here and now would become clear there in the future. That’s why we should never lose hope. Instead, there should be a joyful anticipation.
For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. (Romans 8:24-25)
There’s hope that God would turn our mess into His message. We may not see the other side yet. But we could be sure that there’s an other side. God’s side. Life does not start and end on our side only.

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After making a tapestry, we frame it. We no longer see the back side. All we will see is the front side. Someday, our lives will be framed in eternity. All we will see is the art, not the agony. The tapestry instead of the tragedy. 
We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us! (1 Corinthians 13:12, The Message)
“Let go and let God” Step

Reflect on Romans 8. What is the heavenly perspective that it is teaching us? How that does bear on our present situation? 

NOTE: This is Day One of the devotional guide (Volume 1, Issue 6) of our church, Filinvest Community Christian Fellowship, for the message last Sunday, April 5, on Pass It On.” 

[1] Tim Challies (2015, January 19), “God's Tapestry,” Challies.Com, retrieved from http://www.challies.com/. Emphasis added.

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