Answers to prayer come in many shapes. Yes. No. Wait. Soon. Try this. Not that. Left. Right. Up. Down.
Where is God going and what is He up to?
What I do know . . . He’s working. On our behalf. All the time.
When I don’t understand what He’s doing—which is most of the time—the old-fashioned postage stamp quilt helps me.
A postage stamp quilt is sewn from tiny squares no bigger than—you guessed it—a postage stamp. Thousands of them combine to form exquisite patterns. Nothing is wasted. So, let’s look at a quilt for some perspective:
1. A Square: I’m one square in the pattern and, honestly, my square is about all I can see. To fulfill my part, I must stay in relationship with the Designer.
“When Peter saw him [John], he asked, “Lord, what about him?”
Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” (John 21:20-22 NIV)
2. My Corner of the Quilt: My square touches others. God placed me in this spot for a reason. I contribute to a design I can’t see. Am I making impact on my corner of the quilt or am I consumed with my own space? Click To Tweet
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)
3. The Masterpiece: God’s working on the whole quilt. He’s the only one with the big picture, but He desires relationship, intimacy, and partnership as He stitches us together.
“In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will.” (Ephesians 1:11)
One day, we’ll see the whole quilt. Denim, satin, burlap. The quilt is pieced together with what looks like scraps, but God doesn’t do scraps. He makes all things with perfection. He creates each square and lovingly stitches us into place. He adds layers of batting for warmth. Then, He stitches the layers together in a specific design that spreads through the entire piece. The day will come when we marvel at God’s work and proudly point to our spot. Until then, let’s not allow a limited perspective to frustrate us. Trust the Designer and take it one stitch at a time.
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” (Ephesians 3:20-21)
Workout for the Week: Postage Stamp Perspective
Memory Verse: “When Peter saw him, he asked, “Lord, what about him?”
Jesus answered, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You must follow me.” (John 21:22 NIV)
Meditation Passage: Ephesians 3:10-21
Practice: When you can only see your spot, remember, there’s a whole quilt in the works.