The Threads of Our Lives

Last night, I finished reading Beth Moore’s new beautiful memoir All My Knotted-Up Life. Having completed so many Beth Moore Bible studies through the years, beginning in 2005, and having known her for so long, many stories were familiar, but it gave a fuller look into her life. I have appreciated so much her passionate desire to know Christ, to know His Word, to be committed to the local church, to disciple women, and to express in such memorable and beautiful ways His truth. She is more creative than I think most know, with a great sense of humor, and a gifted communicator and giver of words that bring life and hope. Beth has a way of making the Bible come alive and sharing its profound truth in ways easy to understand and remember. Seeing her passion caused me to want to read and know my Bible and the Lord better. I can remember so many events in my life paralleling with her studies. At times, she has been misunderstood and misrepresented, but she has faithfully continued to walk with the Lord. I am grateful for her ministry and thankful for her influence in my life.

As I think about her book’s title, All My Knotted Up Life, and these knots of our lives that seem confusing and difficult, yet can become so redemptive, I am reminded of my favorite childhood author, Corrie Ten Boom. She had a book called Tramp for the Lord which mesmerized me, as a 9 or 10-year old girl, with the stories of God’s miracles. Corrie’s family lived in the Netherlands which was invaded in 1940 in World War 2. Her family provided a safe haven in their home for persecuted Jews. They were captured and ended up in a concentration camp where Corrie’s father and sister died. Through a clerical error, Corrie was released and went around the world telling people about Jesus and all He had done.

Corrie writes: “Although the threads of my life have often seemed knotted, I know, by faith, that on the other side of the embroidery there is a crown. As I have walked the worlda tramp for the LordI have learned a few lessons in God’s great classroom.” These lessons she shares in her book.

Corrie also shared a poem called “The Weaving.” I’m not sure if she wrote it or simply popularized it, but it reads:

My life is but a weaving
Between my God and me.
I cannot choose the colors
He weaveth steadily.

Oft’ times He weaveth sorrow;
And I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper
And I the underside.

Not ’til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly
Will God unroll the canvas
And reveal the reason why.

The dark threads are as needful
In the weaver’s skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned

He knows, He loves, He cares;
Nothing this truth can dim.
He gives the very best to those
Who leave the choice to Him.

I have thought of this poem often through my life. When things look knotted and messed up from our view, we will at some point be able to flip it over to see a beautiful masterpiece that God was weaving.

In August 2014, I was able to visit Corrie’s home in Haarlem, Netherlands. These two photos of a weaving hang in her family’s home there, along with one other reminding us that Jesus is Victorious!

One other meaningful thing to me is that in my office where I worked for 12 years, which was decorated before I arrived in it, over the desk hangs this same poem, which has been a regular reminder to me:

In Beth Moore’s book, she takes the meanings of these knots in our lives further and gives a greater view to God’s personal care for us through it. I encourage you to read it.

As I searched to find the meaning of “Jesus is Overwinnaar” in Dutch (“Jesus is Victorious!”), I came across this song by Selah which I’ll close with. I praise Him again today for the beautiful weaving He is making out of your life and mine.

Don’t Forget to Thank Him

Do you ever pray for something, and then when everything works out, move back into life without pausing to remember the prayer request or how God specifically answered it? I have a phrase that runs through my mind often, “Don’t forget to thank Him.”

This blog started as a way to give praise to God for the great things He has done. I’m reminded today of one of God’s provisions, a “stone of remembrance” (Joshua 4) that I had not yet collected here, where I want to praise and thank Him. Read more

Christian Radio

Trevin Wax recently wrote a piece explaining why “Christian Music Radio is more theological than you think.” I enjoyed reading the article because I love Christian radio and listen to K-LOVE in the car or while I’m doing things at home. Trevin concludes, “So, as a supplement to daily Bible study, prayer, and weekly worship with God’s people under the Word, I recommend Christian radio as a source of encouragement for the Christian.”

Christian radio has long been an encouragement to me, with just the right song playing at just the right moment.

The first time I remember this happening was when I was caught in a Texas thunderstorm. As the windows of my car were breaking and blowing out in the storm, with hail and glass and rain covering me, the song playing lightly on the radio in the background calmed me as I heard it, the same song (by Twila Paris) that had been on the radio when I started my trip earlier in the day: “God is in control. We believe that his children will not be forsaken. God is in control. We will choose to remember and never be shaken. There is no power above or beside Him, we know, God is in control… He has never let you down. Why start to worry now? He is still the Lord of all we see, and He is still the loving Father, watching over you and me.”

Another time, years ago, I had prayed about having a neighborhood Bible study. The Lord answered prayer in so many incredible ways, but one morning, I was headed to the kitchen to start my day, and I thought, I wish I had a song for this Bible study. But there’s really no song about your neighbors! I turned on the radio to fix breakfast, and heard, “Wake the neighbors! Get the word out…” Who knew, yes, a song about neighbors—an older Steven Curtis Chapman song (“Live Out Loud“) at just the right moment.

Another time, I had a doctor’s appointment with a specialist I have to see each year. I knew I would be getting back test results, and as I prayed that morning, I decided no matter what the results, I wanted to praise the Lord—good or bad. As I stood up to go about my day, I thought, No, that’s not enough. I need to know what I’m going to say. I had been reading in Habakkuk 3 that morning, and verse 2 stood out: “LORD, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, LORD. Repeat them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy.” I decided I would say, “I stand in awe of You,” no matter the results.

When my doctor came in, he was excited and said, “This is awesome! What have you been doing?” And he went through each result and was so pleased! I felt like a little kid with the teacher praising her for a good test! He left the room, and I remembered, “I stand in awe of You, Lord. Thank you!”

When I picked up my kids from my friend’s house, I was recounting with enthusiasm the story to them, telling them about saying “I stand in awe of You” about the results! As I was saying this, I heard on the background the radio playing “And I stand in awe of You, Jesus, yes, I stand in awe of You….” from “Let My Words Be Few.”

Many, many more stories I could share (there’s actually a category for “songs” under my blog that records some others), but those three stand out. I know some people don’t like the style of contemporary Christian music—and of course, there are other kinds of Christian radio—but it’s been a huge blessing in my life! It helps me pay attention to God at work around me in my day. It might be something to encourage you, too, as Trevin says, as a supplement to Bible study, prayer, and being involved in the local church.