I was trying to untangle a badly ripped apart bed skirt and as I was doing so, I thought about how it looked like a complete mess and useless to keep. It was hard to tell what pieces went where and there were so many tears—some at the seam and some, where there was no seam. But, if God were putting this together, He would see clearly where every part went and although to me it seemed a lost cause to try to figure it out, it wouldn’t be, for God.
I thought about how some of the tears came about in the washing machine and more of them came about as I was handling it and unfolding and untwisting it to make sense of the mess.
Sometimes, we are tossed about and mishandled and as a result, are torn in some seemingly unrepairable places—more than just at the surface, but there are deep tears. Sometimes, our tears are made worse when we try to figure it out on our own and even with the help of others. Over time, when no progress is made, it appears that we are useless and honestly, not worth the trouble—just a lost cause. If we were this bed skirt, it would be easier to just get a new one to replace it.
Thank God that he didn’t do me like that—that he doesn’t do us like that. He sees our value and what he has placed inside of us. He knows what we are capable of and he knows just how to bring out that hidden beauty or that usefulness. He knows how to restore those places that have become torn and ripped up by use and handling. It may look very impossible—like nothing good or useful can be made of this, but not with God—with him all things are possible.
I am reminded in the Scriptures how he is the potter and we are the clay. Isaiah 64:8 But now, O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand. Jeremiah was shown this concept by God—(Jeremiah 18:4-6) And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it. Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying, O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the Lord. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.
It’s normal to have some wear and tear as we live this life and encounter and wrestle with various obstacles. We can often find ourselves in new places, facing situations that we’ve never encountered before. However, 1 Corinthians 10:13 says, there hath no temptation taken us but such as is common to man…Meaning, we are not unique or isolated in the things we suffer. The rest of that scripture says, …but God is faithful, who will not suffer us to be tempted above that we are able, but will, with the temptation make a way to escape that we may be able to bear it.
Thankfully, we have a kind and loving Father who not only sees our needs, but he comes to our rescue, so that only the best results come from our difficulties. His love for us is like a mighty river—he gave his only Son for us long before we ever realized we needed it. How amazing is his love for us. No earthly person would invest that much love in a thing or a person and not see to it that that thing or person is nurtured and cared for. Why not trust our almighty God and heavenly Father, our Shepherd with this?
Consider the word of God as you approach God with your tattered and ripped situation: Numbers 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good? Romans 8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? Matthew 7:11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
God, as we come to you today, we do so, trusting that you love us more than we could know and that you are willing and able to help us through the tangly parts of our lives. Right now, in faith, we surrender our most raggedy, broken, shattered places to you and confess that we have not the ability to fix this but you do. So, take the broken and make it beautiful and useful again. Make us into an image that reflects you and give us grace to be still in your hands while you shape us and form us and build us back up again. As you did with Adam, breathe the breath of life into us, again, so that we may be alive with purpose and passion. In the name of Jesus, amen.