Helplessness

When You Cannot Understand the "Dark Threads" of Your Life

Author: Chaplain, Lt. Col. David Causey, USA (Ret.)

Photo by The U.S. Army is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Corrie ten Boom of Holland was imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp, along with her father and sister, for hiding Jews in their home.

The Underside

Only she survived. Her father and sister both perished. For years following her liberation, Corrie struggled with why God had allowed this tragedy – especially why God had allowed a certain female prison guard to be so cruel to her dying sister.

God gave her an answer while she was touring one of the many European castles. Lying against the wall in the castle was a massive tapestry, mounted and stretched on a wooden frame. But Corrie could only see the underside of the tapestry, not the front side. The underside was indiscernible, a confused spattering of twisted, knotted, and loose dark threads.

Then workers in the castle moved the tapestry to its proper place and Corrie saw its upper side. The tapestry was a glorious picture of mountains, meadows, cathedrals and castles. What a difference seeing the upper side. Then Corrie realized that the events of this life are like the tangled, confused dark threads of the tapestry – they never seem to make sense. But in heaven we will see the upper side of the tapestry, so to speak. We will see how God, the weaver, has woven the dark threads of this life into something beautiful.

The Weaver and the Tapestry

When recounting this story to audiences, Corrie liked to recite the following poem:

My life is but a weaving, between the Lord and me;

                   I cannot choose the colors.  He worketh steadily.

          Oft times He weaveth sorrow and I in foolish pride,

                   Forget He sees the upper and I the underside.

          Not till the loom is silent and the shuttles cease to fly,

                   Shall God unroll the canvas and explain 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. (Anonymous)

The Scripture reminds us, “God works all things together for good, to those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28). Trust God and do not lose heart when the dark threads penetrate your life. God will bring from them good and beauty.

Prayer

Dear Father, help me to walk by faith and not by sight, and to trust you as the Weaver of my life. Please take the sorrows, disappointments, and tragedies of my life and weave them into something beautiful. Amen.

If you are dealing with this issue, you do not need to face the challenge alone. Jesus has conquered every challenge so you can move from your present situation to a life of overcoming hope. Invite him to lead you in your journey. He will forgive, comfort, and heal you.

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