There is a beautiful story about a little boy loved to watch his mother when she worked on a piece of embroidery.
He would sit on the floor underneath the hoop and watch the needle suddenly appear from the top and then disappear back up. From the underside, as he watched his mother within the boundaries of the little round hoop that she held in her hand, all he could see were random strands of thread.
Curious, the little boy asked his mother what she was making. She told him she was working on a gift for someone very special and she was almost done. "Really, Mom," he said, "I think you have a lot of work left to do, because it just looks like a jumbled mess."
His mother looked down at him, smiled, and gently said, "My son, why don't you go play in your room for a while, and when I am finished with my embroidering, I will put you on my knee and let you see it from my side." As the little boy played, he wondered why his mother was using dark threads along with bright ones and why despite all her hard work it just looked like a mess.
After a while, his mother called out to him saying, "Son, come and sit on my knee. The little boy was surprised and thrilled to see a beautiful scene of a sunset over the ocean with a sailboat in the middle of the waters. He could not believe it, because from underneath it made no sense-no pattern and no picture.
Then his mother said to him, "My son, from underneath it did look messy and jumbled, but you did not realize that I knew what I wanted to create. There was a design and a pattern you could not see from where you were. Now look at it from my side and you will see what I was doing. This is a gift for you."
I love this story because it reminds me of how we often feel. How many times have we wondered, "God, do you really have a plan and purpose for my life and your creation? From down here it just looks like a jumbled mess."
Yet, if we trust, and if we pay attention, we might be able to see how God is working in and through our lives.
So often when we wonder why we cannot see a pattern or purpose. We question God, wondering, "What are You doing? The threads seem so dark. Why can't they all be bright?"
I believe God's response to us is much like the mother's response. "I know you can't see it now in the midst of what you are experiencing, but someday, I will be able to show you from my perspective what I have been working on in your life. When you see it from my side, you will understand that I have been embroidering your life all along."