Have you ever looked at the backside of an intricate tapestry or piece of weaving and noticed how different it looks from the finished side? The backside is covered with knots and jumbled bits of thread, a tangle and twist of color with no rhyme or reason. Looking at the back gives no clue to the front, the artists intent muddied amidst the greens and blues, scarlets and yellows, colorful yet utterly chaotic when viewed from the back.
Loose ends dominate the work.
But as soon as you turn the piece over, the artist’s intent is obvious as the picture becomes clear and the colors make sense. No loose ends anywhere, just a beautiful piece woven by the artist’s hands, telling a story, making sense.
I’m in a season right now where I feel like I’ve been staring at the backside of a tapestry FOREVER! Everywhere I look, all I see are loose ends. So many ‘ifs’ and nothing certain, nothing I can be assured of. I’m a planner by nature, but it’s super hard to plan when you don’t know what you’re planning for!
Do you feel like that too?
- Questions loom.
- Deadlines are extended.
- Deals fall through.
- Timelines implode.
- Plans go awry.
And the loose threads and loose ends hang there, their pretty greens and blues taunting me.
- “Your questions won’t ever be answered.”
- “If they are answered, the answer will be no.”
- “You’re spinning your wheels.”
- “We’ll get back to you in a month.”
Why is it so hard to wait, to be patient, to let the doors open on their own?
Why is it so hard to trust?
More than anything, my husband and I want to sell our house in Atlanta and move to Nashville to be closer to our daughter and grandchildren. So, our house is on the market. Again. We put it on the market last May, and it sat there through November and didn’t sell so we took it off for the holidays. We put it back on in February, and now it’s May, but so far nothing. Zip. Zero. Nada.
We also have a couple of big business issues on the horizon, but as yet, there are no visible signs of closure.
Everything feels stalled; life is one big holding pattern.
God is showing me that in the waiting lies the test, and learning to be patient with His timing is a mark of maturity, a mark of character. It goes against human nature to simply let God’s plan unfold and not try to hurry things up! It’s hard to remember He’s actually more concerned about our future than we are. He see’s everything, the end from the beginning. But us? We see through a glass, darkly.
Here’s the thing: God is just as concerned as we are. In fact, He’s way ahead of us, working in our future, taking care of details we haven’t even thought about. He’s getting everything lined up for the next season.
The good news is, I’m learning a lot as we wait for our house to sell. Maybe what I’m learning will help you too.
1. God has a plan. He alone knows my end from my beginning, and He alone knows exactly what I need right now. (Clearly I need to grow a little more patient!)
2. His plan has a purpose. Oh, I so want to think it’s all about me, but it’s so not. His plans go far beyond my little life. God is always looking generations ahead, deep into the coming decades. He’s weaving a masterpiece we can’t even begin to understand.
3. Whatever His purpose is, it’s good. Romans 11:34 reminds us, “For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counselor?” I can’t know His reasons, but I can know this: Romans 8:28 says, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” I can rest in this truth whether my house sells or not! All the threads are going to make sense when the time comes for me to turn the tapestry over and see it from His perspective.
4. The waiting is the big tell. Do I love God for who He is or for what He can give me? Until we get this one right, He might just let us keep waiting.
5. He’s letting us grow in maturity. I can possess every gift of the Spirit, but until I’m producing the fruit of the Spirit, I’m not yet mature. Hebrews 6:1 says, “Let us go on to maturity.” Indeed.
If like me, your life is full of loose ends and unanswered questions, know there’s a reason. I’m learning to trust as I walk through this season. I know the day will come when it will all make sense, when I’ll hold the tapestry in my hands, turn it over and say, “Oh, how beautiful! I’m so glad I waited! Now it all makes sense!”
Friend, leave it to Him. He’s weaving something special in your life even if all you can see is the jumble of threads, colors and knots. One day you’ll get to see it from His perspective and realize all along it was a beautiful masterpiece!