The other side
I am full of contradictions. I want to be in control, to know how my life will end up, to see around corners and forego the unknown in favor of assuredness and comfort. Yet, I love mystery. In reality, I know that I’m not in control, and in my heart of hearts, I much prefer it that way. If I were truly the sole author of my life, I know that I would really make quite a mess of it.
As usual, pendulum that I am, I vacillate between these two tendencies, (much) more often operating under the false assumption that I am in control. But there’s a beautiful analogy that has struck me especially and has been bringing me immense comfort. Our lives are like a tapestry, a masterful work of art conceived of and created by God. And for the grand majority of the time, we can see only the back—a tangled, nonsensical mess of thread sprouting every which way. But every once in a while, He will give us a fleeting glimpse of the front, allowing us to make sense of the seeming chaos and assuring us of His intentionality and care and design.
It’s been easy to lose sight of this in the midst of trials. From back-to-back deaths in the family to a break-in to a whole slew of other challenges, this has not been for me a season of perfect peace and surrender and trust in God’s ever-presence. But lately, He’s been giving me glimpses—miraculous, thrilling, awe-inspiring glimpses—of the work of art He’s creating. Suddenly, being held in suspense doesn’t strike me as quite so unbearable.
Of course, it’s still a mystery. He’s leading me gently through door after door, around twists and turns, holding my hand in the dark. He hasn’t shown me the end, but He has shone a light in the darkness that has given me delightful hope. He’s a tender, loving, nurturing God, allowing for suffering and pain and the weight of the unknown in my life so that I turn to Him, so that I keep an open and humble and heart of flesh. So, too, He’s an artist, creating a delicate, thoughtful, brilliant masterpiece out of the brokenness and redemption that fills all our lives.
I’d like to live always with such faith. To submit gracefully to the messiness in favor of freely allowing God to work how He intends, in His own mysterious, sometimes baffling, way. To remember that each thread of joy or sorrow is necessary for the grandeur that is to come. And while we may spend our lives pained by the perplexity, wishing we knew the answers to why and how and when, a day will come when we will see the other side.