Posted by: glorifyhim1 | August 5, 2009

One Stitch at a Time


This week I began a cross-stitch sampler. “It shouldn’t be too hard,” I thought, “I’ve done this before. I should have it completed in no time.” Think again. It had been years since I last cross-stitched. My fingers are not as nimble now nor trained in the direction they should go. My perfect 20-20 vision has also diminished and even with my reading glasses perched on the tip of my nose, those little tiny squares in the Aida fabric seem to move up and down and sometimes vanish altogether. Not to mention the impossible task of threading two strands of cotton floss into that almost imperceptible hole on the end of the needle! I knew I was in trouble when I lost my needle four times before I even got started and then tried to thread the needle through the wrong end because I couldn’t even see the eye of the needle!


My husband, quite amused at the whole show, just shook his head. “I’d just forget it,” he encouraged. A couple of days later as I worked laboriously while seated at the dining room table under the brightest light I could find, he shook his head again, “You sure have more patience than I do!” And then just last night, he stopped to check on my progress and exclaimed, “I see a nose!” I didn’t bother to tell him that it was actually in the wrong place and I was going to have to figure out how to straighten it out!


As I sat there looking at that misplaced nose, I couldn’t help but feel a little discouraged. “Why am I doing this?” I wondered. “But I want to do it,” I argued with myself. I want to do it even after that misplaced nose. I love the feel of the fabric and that simple little cross-stitch that can start out as a tiny little x and as you add more little x’s, it can grow into a beautiful picture – or at least a misplaced nose. As I thought about all those little stitches making a beautiful picture, I suddenly thought about God’s creative work in us.


As Jesus looks at me, I’m sure that I’m a lot like that piece of cross-stitch. God has a beautiful plan for my life. He gives me the fabric, the bright, colorful threads, and everything I need to become that beautiful picture He intended me to be. Too often, however, instead of following His plan, I want to do things my way. I take everything He gives me and try to create my own picture. As I put stitches in places where God never intended, instead of a beautiful picture, my life can become a lot like my cross-stitch with a misplaced nose. But God is not content to let me stay where I am. He loves me too much to allow me to drift too far and He will do whatever He needs to get my attention. But He is always ready to forgive and help me straighten out all of those misplaced stitches. “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8).


As far as my cross-stitch is concerned, I hope I can figure how what to do about that nose and finish it eventually. As far as my life, I’m thankful I can trust it to God to work things out. Philippians 1:6 assures us that He can complete His work is us – “Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.



Dear Father,

I’m thankful you’re not willing

To leave me as I am,

But lovingly You fashion me

To fufill Your greater plan.

Each detail You consider

As You patiently complete

With grace and loving-kindness,

Your creative work in me.




 Further Study: James 4:7-10

                         Psalm 71

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