When God Whispers a Challenge

“He makes all things beautiful in His time…” Ecc. 3:11

Writing for me is like breathing. I might not be particularly talented, but words flow easily when I pick up a pen or sit down at a computer. I have had writing-related schooling at college, university, and graduate school. Upon finishing my schooling, I landed my dream job working as an editor. After several years of that, I switched jobs and began to work closely with my local City Council in a position that also involved writing and editing. Up until the birth of my daughter, writing was my life.

The work-related writing that I have done required me to put very little of myself on the page. I could have as many walls around my soul as I wanted, but they did not affect the finished product. Work-related writing requires very little sacrifice. It’s easy.

Blogging, on the other hand, is a different story. After a year and a half of not writing at all, God challenged me to begin to write again. At the same time as He was challenging me to write, He began to challenge me to put more of myself out there for others to see. Writing, like I said, comes easily. Opening up to others on a personal level is a little more difficult. I want to be obedient, however, so I began this website.

Often, when God whispers a challenge, it is the last thing in the world we want to do. God’s intent is for us to grow, but growth hurts. He wants us to become uncomfortable so that we can become all that He intended us to be, but we want to stay where it’s safe. We see with our limited eyes the potential embarrassment that comes when we step out of our shell, but God sees beyond all that.

A friend of mine has a hand-woven antique tapestry hanging in her dining room. Have you ever seen the back of a tapestry? It is a tangled mess! Coloured threads are chaotically knotted everywhere and there seems to be no purpose at all in their placement. But turn it over, and it’s another story. Each thread has been woven with perfect precision to create a beautiful scene. The tapestry perfectly illustrates the difference between the way we see challenges and the way God sees them.

I love the story of Joseph. If anyone’s life seemed tangled and matted, it was Joseph’s. His brothers hated him so they faked his death and sold him into slavery. As a slave, he was falsely accused of trying to rape his master’s wife, so he was thrown in jail. And yet, his faith in God never waivered. Years later, when he was reunited with his brothers, he told them, “What you intended for evil, God intended for good.” For years, Joseph had only been able to see the underside of the tapestry. But, at that point, he was able to see the beautiful work of art that God had made out of his life through the challenges He faced.

When God stretches us, we see only the knots and tangles. Each pierce of the needle hurts. We have no idea what the Artist is doing because we see only one side of the story. We are oblivious to the fact that a beautiful picture is being formed out of our lives.

God, on the other hand, sees the beginning from the end. He sees our destiny. And it’s beautiful.

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