Last Sunday morning, I was helping my daughter get ready for a kids choir performance at church. We were in the bathroom and I was helping her dry her hair after her shower. I asked her to flip her hair over so that I could make sure the underside was completely dry. When she flipped her hair back, she looked in the mirror and frowned at her reflection.
I turned the dryer off. “What’s wrong, Honey?”
Her brow furrowed and she folded her arms. “My hair is so messy! Everyone will laugh at me.”
I tried not to laugh. “Well,” I said, “I’m not done yet.”
“But it’s all poofy and it looks funny. I don’t like it.”
“Sweetie, I know it looks kind of crazy right now, but it’s not finished yet. Just wait. It will be fine I promise.”
She only scowled at the mirror, unconvinced. “Watch and see,” I told her.
I went back to work, brushing, blow-drying, curling and hair-spraying. Slowly the scowl melted away.
“Now,” I said when I was done, “how does it look?”
A smile lit her face. “Good.”
“Does your mom know what she is doing?”
“Yeah,” she said reluctantly.
“Even when you can’t see how it’s going turn out?”
“Yeah,” she responded.
“Maybe next time you’ll trust me?”
“Okay. Go get your shoes on. It’s time to go.”
It wasn’t until God brought that conversation back to my mind the next morning that I realized the significance of it. How many times have I had that same conversation with Him?
“God, I’m following you and trusting you to guide me, but look! My life is a mess! What’s going on?”
I’m not done yet. Don’t worry.
“But God, I don’t understand! Don’t you see what’s happening? What kind of witness can I be for you when nothing is working out?”
I have it under control. Trust me.
“I know I should trust you, but…are you SURE you know what you are doing? I mean, this is a disaster! What are you doing to me?”
I’m taking care of it. Just be patient.
OK, Beloved. Look now.
“Oh. Well, how did you do that? That’s amazing! I can’t believe it!”
So, does your Father know what he is doing after all?
“I guess so.”
Even when you don't understand what’s really going on?
Will you trust me next time?
“I’ll try to remember.”
Of course, the time table we are on isn’t usually the 10 minutes it took me to fix my daughter’s hair. The amount of time we will have to wait to see how our Heavenly Father is working things for our good varies greatly from situation to situation. It can be months or years (or longer) before we get a glimpse of how God is weaving together the threads of our lives with the threads of others into a beautiful and intricate pattern. And, like in a tapestry, the individual threads are only aware of their own twists and turns and those around them in those moments when their paths happen to come into contact. From the inside, I can imagine that it would look like a huge mess. When viewed from above, though, the true design of all the intersecting threads can be seen. It’s so much bigger and so much more intricate than we can fathom. Much of it, though, won’t be understood until we truly view it the way it was intended to be seen. From the vantage point of eternity.
Be confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6