Ages ago I used to sew seriously, things like a sport jacket for Dave, curtains, even my wedding gown.I finally got a Bernina sewing machine about 30 years ago, but in recent decades I have used it just to hem or make needed clothing repairs.Then I decided, probably since I’d just been reading about the coats Hannah made each year for her beloved son Samuel, to make a nightgown for Little Stuff. I sought out a white on white fabric with fireflies. Last summer, while making s’mores around the firepit, Little Stuff first sighted fireflies, so the fabric had meaning. Next, to match her blue eyes, I chose blue trim. Then the sewing began. When we got to Georgia, Little Stuff put on her new nightgown before going in to brush her teeth. Then she settled in on her Baby Sister’s activity pad to listen to her Daddy read her a bedtime story. Next came singing: “The B-I-B-L-E,” Jesus Loves Me,” “This Little Light of Mine,” and “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”This evening ritual reminded me of the importance of beginning and ending my days with the Lord. The biblical “A little one shall lead them” makes sense.
Please understand that all nights don’t run according to plan! A bath, followed by brushing teeth and combing hair, should settle her down, but they don’t always. The story, songs, and prayers should provide a serene conclusion to the day. Yet they don’t always do that.
That reminds me of my own life, and the fact that having a time with the Lord is not a magic formula. Oh, how that sounds wonderful! Crank in a routine and all is well. However, such a relationship with the God of heaven and earth would grow mundane, manipulated by me, rather like rubbing the bottle and expecting a heavenly genie to hop out and make everything run smoothly. Pre-packaged God sounds crass, something I would not consider doing. Still, I see myself acting just like that when I want a formula to use with God. When I suffer or run into unexpected (sometimes undeserved) conflicts, I want a quick fix. I rather suspect God wants my long-term sanctification more than a fast acting pain reliever. He wants sovereign sway over all my life. Abraham Kuyper, Dutch theologian, wrote, “In the total expanse of human life, there is not a single square inch of which the Christ, who alone is sovereign, does not declare, ‘That is mine!'”
So my mind goes back to sewing those stitches as Hannah must have, one by one. I begin to understand a bit of God’s stitchery in my life as He has patiently sewn over the years. Sometimes the thread has run as smoothly as a basting stitch; other times the knots made a mess.I wanted to throw the garment away and begin again, sure that nothing could redeem the fabric or make anything worthwhile. How thankful I am that the Master Tailor rips out, restitches, and continues to create a finely woven garment for His purpose.