I used to do a little knitting. Back 45 years ago, I watched my mom and sisters sit around knitting and marveled at the things they would make. In my mind, I thought I might like to try to do the same. Mom taught me some rudimentary knitting skills and I was off! Have I ever mentioned how my patience varies from day to day? If I had been able to stay the course, I could be in a knitting Hall of Fame I'm sure. But, instead, I produced many items that looked like this. Discouragement took over and somewhere along the way I lost interest in knitting. Could have had something to do with an old baseball glove and ball....
Knitting is about repetition and muscle memory. You have to keep the yarn at a constant tension and find a rhythm that works for you. Obviously, you can slip a stitch or get the rows too tight or too loose. It is a labor of love to produce beautiful pieces of clothing and such.
"Therefore, “they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits
on the throne will spread his tent over them. Never again will they hunger; never again will they
thirst. The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne
will be their shepherd;he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from
their eyes.” (Revelation 7:15-17, NIV)
I have a friend who has known great sorrow and pain and deals with discouragement on a daily basis. She is also extremely gifted in stitching things that look as though they were produced by a computerized machine. The stitches always seem to be perfect and the design looks flawless. She loves to stitch. For her, it isn't a task or duty, but an extension of her heart. She has now blessed my family and me with some keepsakes that will be forever treasured.
Unlike the photo above, this one displays skill and thought. It displays devotion and resolve. It displays many of the traits I either don't have or don't have enough of.
("The gift of Jesus", hand-stitched by Judy Headings)
It is good that God has blessed us all with specific gifts and skills. I will probably never produce a piece that says Jesus stitched into the design. I'll need to be content to exercise the gifts within me in order to experience the same peace and purpose as my stitching friend.
If you struggle with despair and disappointment,with pain and suffering, or maybe anxiety or depression, then perhaps you might try learning a new skill. Look around and see what vocations and hobbies might fit your skillset. Be open to try new things and allow these activities and the people you meet help you with your situation. Produce things that reduce your stress and elevate someone near you. Give "The gift of Jesus" and see if your pain and sorrow down begin to soften around the edges. When you and I are open to try new things only then can God reveal new ways for us to experience joy and peace, purpose and healing, and connection with another hurting person.
PS: Special thank you to Judy Headings for her labor of love in stitching (tatting) "The Gift of Jesus"