Somewhere in the supernatural realm of the universe, I believe that there are threads, colorful strands of fabric connecting time and space and events, intertwining, interwoven into a beautiful tapestry called God’s story.
And what an amazing story it is. A story of redemption, salvation, adoption. A story where even the darkest, blackest places on the tapestry come together into something dazzling and breathtaking.
Yet sometimes, it’s hard to see that story.
It’s easy to fight the dark strands in our own lives, isn’t it?
To push away the hands of our Creator and struggle to weave the tapestry on our own. Sometimes we mistakenly believe that we can create the best ending for our own story after all. So we snatch away pen and paper and scribble away, determined to transform our lives into a fairytale of glitter and gold.
For the last six months of my life, I heard God telling me “no.”
Sometimes in the brokenness of humanity, relationships and people just aren’t able to fit together. Like two obstinate puzzle pieces, no matter how hard we may try to force those pieces together, they will never match up.
But in my pride, in my desperation, I sat there for six months, a stubborn child, trying to will my way into showing God how badly I wanted this friendship to go on.
I snatched pen and paper into my own hands, fighting desperately to write a tale of romance and beauty in which I thought I could be forever happy. I struggled through nights of only a few solitary hours of sleep, nights filled with crying and tear-stained pillows and emotional breakdowns because I thought I could foresee and predict God’s ending to my story.
I tried to make it all work.
Yet when it became more obvious that His answer was “no” and things started falling to pieces, I tried to ignore His answer and the warning lights going on around me.
My fists were clenched, holding on tightly to my own hopes and dreams as if my life were my own, as if I could ever be a more poetic author, a more talented painter, or a more competent artist than the Creator of the universe.
It took a lot to break my clenched fists, a lot of extreme circumstances of hurt and abandonment for me to see my own stubbornness and brokenness.
But now I see the beauty and the benefits of going through life with unclenched fists, open and ready to accept whatever and whomever the Lord will give and take away.
In a way, the Scriptures are full of people who lived with unclenched fists, people who lost homes and families and careers for Christ. These heroic men and women understood that God’s plan often differs dramatically from our own dreams and hopes, and sometimes He says “no” to the possessions and people we hold most dearly.
The rich young ruler understood this all too well in Matthew 19:21-22, which reads:
“Jesus said to him, ‘If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.’ When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.”
In a way, we can sometimes act similarly to this rich young ruler, clinging to our earthly loves, afraid that God might say “no” and remove those dearest from our lives.
Yet too often we forget that the Person directing our life song isn’t simply another fallible human being.
The One who composes each incident in our lives is the Creator of the Universe who sent His Son down to earth that we might have a restored relationship and an eternity with Him. He holds the world together, blending beautiful strains of music into one powerful, awe-inspiring melody shouting of His glory and our good.
When the Psalmist wrote, “Into Your hand I commit my spirit, You have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God,” (Psalm 31:5), he knew full-well that he was committing his spirit into the hands of the Almighty God.
Somewhere in the supernatural realm of the universe, I also believe that the past six months were part of God’s plan for me, a small section of my tapestry, a few pages in my life story, a small refrain in my song, teaching me to unclench my fists and to commit my spirit to the One who is forever faithful.
I’m learning that living with open hands and an open heart is a daily commitment, a daily prayer to the God who hears, and a daily surrender of myself, knowing that the ending, which will be the best part, is yet to come.
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