Life's Rich Tapestry

Life’s rich tapestry.  I’m sure I’ve read that somewhere.  It sounds rather attractive, doesn’t it?  It makes you think of lovely colours and neat stitches, and a clear picture emerging as the tapestry is worked.

“Providence,” says John Flavel, “is like a curious piece of tapestry made of a thousand shreds, which, single, appear useless, but put together, they represent a beautiful history to the eye.”

But tapestries have two sides of course – the front and the back.  In this world, what we see is, as it were, the back.


Often the events of our lives seem confusing or distressing, leaving us sad or fearful, disappointed or perplexed.  To quote Flavel again, “The providence of God is like Hebrew words – it can be read only backwards.”  God’s thoughts are not our thoughts, nor His ways our ways.  From God’s perspective, the picture is very different, and one day we too will see the finished view.


So be encouraged, for the Father’s hand will never cause His child a needless tear, and He is working His purposes out, for our good, and for His glory.  His way is always perfect.

The Lord is near to the broken-hearted, and saves the crushed in spirit.  Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord rescues them from them all.  (Psalm 34:18-19)

Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.”  (John 13:7)


God moves in a mysterious way

His wonders to perform;

He plants His footsteps in the sea

And rides upon the storm.


Deep in unfathomable mines

Of never-failing skill

He treasures up His bright designs,

And works His sovereign will.


Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;

The clouds ye so much dread

Are big with mercy, and shall break

In blessings on your head.


Judge not the Lord by feeble sense,

But trust Him for His grace;

Behind a frowning providence

He hides a smiling face.


His purposes will ripen fast,

Unfolding every hour;

The bud may have a bitter taste,

But sweet will be the flower.


Blind unbelief is sure to err,

And scan His work in vain;

God is His own interpreter,

And He will make it plain.


William Cowper