24th July 2020
'in union with Christ because of his own purpose'
All things are done according to God's plan and decision;
and God chose us to be his own people
in union with Christ because of his own purpose,
based on what he had decided from the very beginning.
(Ephesians 1:11 GNT)
Over my Christian life I have become confident
that God is able to work out all things.
No matter what is going on or how obscure my understanding of a situation is,
I believe that God is always working out things
according to his great sovereign plan.
It's as if there's a giant tapestry that God is weaving,
and our lives are a part of it.
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 back of a tapestry is a mess.
A tapestry is made by weaving together different-coloured threads,
and the images and designs are created by the interplay
between the different colours and textures.
What is clear on the front is muddled on the back.
The back shows something of the image,
but it looks more like a child's attempt than a master's.
Where the front is smooth,
the back is covered in knots and loose ends.
God promises to use every single event in our lives to bring about good.
Though I have often heard Joni Eareckson Tada use the illustration,
I believe it originated with Corrie Ten Boom and her poem
"The Master Weaver's Plan."
"Oft' times He weaveth sorrow;
And I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper
And I the underside."
Sometimes we get caught up in all the things that are happening around us,
but God reminds us,
'Don't worry, nothing is taking me by surprise.
I'm weaving all these new things into the great pattern.
Your mistakes, the things that happen to you,
are going to turn out alright!'
Has it ever occurred to you that nothing surprises God?
The things we are embroiled in right now did not take God by surprise.
He did not look at our situations and say,
'Oh, I didn't expect that to happen.
Gabriel, do you have any suggestions?
What are we going to do?'
I know sometimes in my microscopic view of things I have said
'Lord, such and such has got to happen.'
God has replied,
'Wait, be patient, you don't have the whole picture.'
Then, as time went on, the bigger picture unfolded
and I could see God was working in I way
I couldn't possibly have envisaged bringing about an outcome far different,
but far better, from 'what had got to happen'.
Whatever our situation,
we can rest assured that God has plans to work things out.
God is working out things according to his plans.
Even if our present circumstances have totally taken us by surprise,
God saw it coming and made provision for it ahead of time.