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Fraying at the Edges?

I don't always stand strong. Some may think I do, but there are days when all I want to do is curl up in a ball. forget about having to look difficulty in the face, and escape into a safe place. I am not alone in this - you probably have those days, as well. In those moments you just don't have the 'want to' - you don't 'wanna' anymore. Have you ever been told to "take heart" while in the midst of one of these times? The term "take heart" means to gain strength and courage in a difficult situation. While it might not seem like it, the example we exhibit in the times of waiting on God to act has the potential of causing others to take heart - - to gain strength and courage for their own difficult circumstances. In the midst of difficulty, what makes you stand strong, even when you don't 'wanna'?

With your very own hands you formed me; now breathe your wisdom over me so I can understand you. When they see me waiting, expecting your Word, those who fear you will take heart and be glad.
(Psalm 119:73-74)

It should be the confidence we have in the one who has created us. It goes without saying that the one doing the "assembling" of the pieces of our lives is the best to address the pressures that come against those "pieces" from time to time that make those "pieces" feel like they are about to bust apart. I have sewn a few things in my days - some better than others. By the time I finished with the assembly of those pieces I was assembling with needle and thread, I knew everything about that item. I had touched the material so many times, turning it this way and then that way, until it was "formed" into what the pattern promised. The key to the "forming" was in the "pattern" that I followed! Deviate from the pattern and the project required a few 'redone' seams along the way!

The same is true in life - - the key to us being "formed" well is in the "pattern" we are being formed to fit! We are reminded repeatedly that we have but one pattern worth following - - Jesus Christ. The one doing the "forming" is God himself - - the pattern he follows is his one and only Son, Jesus. It stands to reason that God would know us "inside and out" just as I got to know the ins and outs of the items I put together with that needle and thread. As his hands pass over the pieces of our lives, he is forming them into something that no longer resembles what once was - - disconnected pieces without any recognizable form. He is connecting the pieces, and with each connection, the thing he is producing becomes more and more evident.

I marvel at the skill of God in taking those things within our lives that seem to have no recognizable purpose and then using them to become the very things that give stability and testimony within our lives. The hands of God sometimes have to "pass over" the pieces of our lives many times before the "forming" work is complete, just as mine do when I am creating that garment. There is a technique of making a french seam in sewing that allows the frayed edges to no longer be visible - - they are sewn within the framework of the seam in such a way that they stop their raveling! The frayed edges are still there where the scissors cut through the material, but you cannot see them, nor will they cause you problems later, for they are well 'encased' in the other fabric of the seam.

God is all over that work of keeping us from "unraveling" - of encasing us in his protection! His hands skillfully guide the parts of our lives that are given to "unraveling" by placing them into a protective "meshing". Grace has a way of protecting the weaker parts of our lives so that our emotional unraveling is no longer a threat! In his skillful way, he guides us through the "forming" process, stitching together the pieces we don't see value in. It should never surprise us that God sees value in every stitch he places! Nothing escapes his perfect touch.

In making those garments or items from fabric, I often wanted to leave out some of the pieces. I just did not see the importance of that small piece of facing, or the hidden pieces of materials that would give "firmness" to the finished product. The facing served to "tuck out of view" the edges - - in so doing, not only was a "prettier" image presented, but the edges that were raw were protected from further fraying! The "interfacing" was placed within the structure of the garment because it added firmness and support. In much the same way, God's Word provides firmness and support when it is allowed to be "sewn into" the structure of our lives.We may not see what is taking form within our lives - - but when we trust the skill of the one doing the forming, we can stand strong. In the forming process, others look on and take courage - - seeing that reliance on the skill of the Great Craftsman yields a finished product that mirrors the "pattern"! Just sayin!

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