I love to sit and cross stitch. I enjoy doing that along with some other hobbies I have recently acquired. It always fascinates me each time I start a project. When I start a cross-stitch project, I begin with a piece of Aida cloth. There is nothing on it. It is blank, just like the calendar year. I start with one stitch and then another and another. I can’t seem to wait until the picture begins to form on the cloth. Even though I know what the picture is supposed to look like, I still get eager to see it come into reality. There are times I may make mistakes and have to take stitches out and redo them, or I get lost and have to figure out where I am. Once I have fixed my mistake or found out where I am, I am on my way again, and, once again, the excitement settles in. I finish the picture and am amazed at how it turns out. Even though I know from an example how it is supposed to look, I am still amazed.
At the start of each New Year our calendar is blank. Usually, we have set goals and some things we’d like to see get accomplished during the year. Maybe some dates have already been filled in for us. There might be some vacations planned, new grandchildren coming, and a new job to learn, moves that have to be made. Maybe we have some commitments that are a held over from last year. Whatever the case may be, we have a new year to anticipate and get excited. There is no use looking back over last year. It is gone; we can’t get it back, and we can’t change what happened to us in the past year. But, we can learn from our failures as well as our successes. As we start each new day, it is like a new stitch. At the end of the year, we will have a picture of what this year was like. For some, it may not be a pretty picture while for others, those who allow God to work them, a beautiful picture can be created. We may make some mistakes throughout the year, and we may lose our way sometimes, but as long as we find our way back and ask God to forgive us for those mistakes we have made, it doesn’t matter. What is important is allowing our “pattern” to be the Bible and the “stitcher” to be God. If we allow God to move in us and through us, our lives can become a beautiful reflection of what God wants us to be.
When I am done cross stitching, most of the time, I have to do some outlining. When you outline something, it adds the finishing touch to your project. It just makes it look a little nicer. Sometimes outlining isn’t easy. Sometimes during the year, God adds that finishing touch to us. Sometimes that finishing touch can be a little rough. It can be hard to get through it, but if we make it through those rough times we can always look back and see how much beauty it added to our picture. Sometimes outlining can be easy. God give us plenty of grace and mercy throughout the year. He blesses us so much with health, wealth, family, and friends. He just adds that finishing touch in our lives in so many different ways.
At the end of the year, we can look back at our “picture” (the year) and set it aside. We can look back on the picture but we can never redo it. We can’t make changes, we can’t go back and take out stitches and add new ones. All we can do is to start all over the following year, with a new blank piece of material (or a new year), and allow God once again to be the stitcher and our pattern be the Bible. Instead of trying to be the stitcher ourselves we need to give God complete control and allow Him to work through us. Sometimes when we help God, we just get in His way and our beautiful picture turns out all wrong. That is when we have to take the stitches out and let God rework our lives to fit His pattern for us. This next year, I hope you will allow God to be the “stitcher” of your life. My wish for each of you is that you take the time to read the Bible, make it your pattern and then allow God to work through you so at the end of the year God can look at His picture and say, “How beautiful!”
God Bless each of you and your families!
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.”
Prayer: Dear God, I thank you for being my stitcher. I give you my life, asking you to be in control. Life is not easy, and we are not sure what we are to be doing or what it’s all about. Because we are called your sons and daughters in Christ, we can trust you to lead us and guide us in the direction you would have us go. Thank you for giving us each new year to explore, to be challenged, to grow, and to stretch. Help us to take each year and live it more fully for you. Amen.