Tuesday, June 23, 2009

God's Warp and Weft


"Life is a tapestry: We are the warp; angels, the weft; God, the weaver. Only the Weaver sees the whole design."

Eileen Elias Freeman

What a beauty it was! I eyed it at a scant distance. Lain on an old pine table, it inspired a sweet little corner at a cozy antique shop in Guntersville, Alabama. Unreservedly, I walked down the narrow aisle, never removing my gaze from its loveliness. As it then lay before me, I touched its graceful edges, brushed my fingers against the woven texture, and marvelled at the thought and skill that created such wonder and wove a tale of an elegant French maiden.

The tapestry was there for all eyes. Unfurled for all to see, to touch, to praise. A date declared its true antique quality. The skillful design and careful handiwork claimed its precious price. One too steep for my little cottage budget.

Moving on from the valuable piece, I continued my search for simpler things with painless prices. But I did not forget its beauty and rarity. The tapestry found a small spot in my heart for its elegant sense. My desire was not to buy, but to regard what I learned about costly treasures of art and artisans past. I hoped that it was destined to hang in a period home. Owned by one who would appreciate its worth and painful undertaking.

As precious as it was, the tapestry was only one among many costly items I saw that day. And as costly as those and many other worldly goods are, they are worthless when brightened by eternal light. How can they compare to nonmaterial life? The beauty of our Artist and His tapestries. Real life and lives. Creation unseen to human vision. Authentic authenticity. What really matters.

God's craftsmanship in our lives appoints the real priceless. His work in us threads and toils. We are privileged to be His weft and warp. We live in rich, unmerited favor, and God is surely weaving us together. We are, each one, becoming His glorious tapestry, a work of worship, a testimony of Christ's triumph, God's own hands carefully crafting, taking strand after strand, placing them in His divine loom, putting all together, knowing presently the finished work that will be.

Linen, cotton, wool, silk, gold, and silver. All are beautiful. All are needed. All are treasured. All are esteemed. All are costly. Not one strand should be lost or debased. For the completed creation will in time acclaim the artistry and glory of its Creator.

When complete, what joy the creation brings to its Artist! God, through careful, meticulous work on His divine loom, reveals threads of grace, weaves expressed love, portrays His power, yields colorful compassion, teaches the worth of peace and patience, illustrates unceasing prayer, exhorts all who wonder at its interlocking pieces of pain, speaks to all who hear its hidden themes, brings to reverence all who marvel at the miracle.

Like tapestries of old, we are each a symbol of royalty in our world. When others view us, they view the work of our King. Humanity looks for remarkable details. They expect excellent rapport. And our worldly culture sees us as peculiar creations. Sometimes they look for beauty. Oft times they look for fault. Tend to search for forgery. Crave to find false. And those critics turn from us grieved when pricked by our purity, the real within us.

And that real within us, like tapestries from history, serve well. Centuries ago, those aristocratic beauties were commonly removed from castle walls, and with ease, moved from place to place as their masters desired. They were used for comfort in cold, for insulation, for solitude, for banners of battles, for illustration of God's word, and, in time, some were sadly burned for their costly gold and silver threads.

Our Master Weaver considers all threads costly. His work is perfect. His work is tireless. His work is love. Going on and on, He weaves, assumes the warp-work, customizes His art, like the ancient earthly craftsman who invested more than a month in just one square yard of his tapestry. Day, weeks, months, years passed before the weaver's glorious task was completed. And when done, the back of said work was hardly varied from the front. The seen mastery was a mere reflection of the unseen toil of its artisan.

Dear friends, "we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them (Ephesians2:10). You are his art. You were created for His glory. You were ordained to walk God's way. And, the Greek meaning of key words in this passage allow us even deeper revelation of God's handiwork. To fully see yourself, the miraculous, God's tapestry, notice the mighty meanings.

  • Workmanship = poiema = fabric; a design made by an artisan; God is the master designer

  • Created = ktizo = to form from pre-existent matter or out of nothing; to form spiritually

  • Good = agathos = excellent, distinguished, upright, happy, honorable

  • Works = ergon = labor, performance; the work Jesus was sent to fulfill on earth

  • Prepared Beforehand = proetoimazo = used only twice in the NT, refers to glory and good

  • Walk = peripateo = to tread all around; be occupied with
What illumination! Dear friends, we are His chosen fabric. You have been designed completely by Him, who is the Great Artisan. Our heavenly Father has taken us, each one, with all the nothingness and all the somethings in our lives, to spiritually form us according to His desire to make us a most distinguished work. As he crafts us and works with our abilities and weaknesses, the work of Christ is accomplished through us. And this work of Christ that we do, which He determined in prehistory, is done for your good, the good of others, and the glory of God.

As God's tapestry, you are so important! Grasp the reality of His creative work in your life! Everywhere you go, whatever you do, find joy in being His masterpiece, humbly thank God for His labor of love in you, and glory in Christ's cross, which renders you the honor of His skillful hand.
Scripture is from NKJV
Greek Word Study is from The Complete Word Study Dictionary, New Testament, Zondervan Publishing





I was very humbled and sweetly surprised to receive this award from Lidj, of Crown of Beauty. Lidj is filled with such love and passion for the Lord, and her love for others is evident through her writing and precious smile. Please visit her at http://www.mla-crownofglory.blogspot.com/.
You will be uplifted and inspired by her creativity and sensitivity, and you will find joy in spending time perusing her post and learning of her life.

The rules that go with this award require listing 7 things you love that show your creativity, then link back to the person who gave you the award, and pass it along to 7 other bloggers.

Here are my 7 loves . . .

I love practicing the presence of God. What a daily challenge it is to find Him in all and to keep a heart of prayer. It is truly a lifetime task, but without it, I am empty and life is vain.

I love spending time with my family and finding ways to make them happy and comfortable. Spending time with my husband, talking with my sons, and playing with my grandchildren are the highlights of my life. Being present for them all is very important to me. If I can entertain my grandchildren, bake a cake, or help my husband with church tasks, I find such joy!

I love working in my church, attending services, and worshiping with God's people.

I love writing and hope and pray to do so with a heart for God.

I love playing the piano and hope and pray to do so through the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

I love reading, allowing the wisdom and words of the scriptures and books to sink into my heart, flood my mind, and transform my life. The symbolism and beauty of literature is a tool in the hands of the Lord when read through His eyes.

I love making my cottage house a home. It's fun to find vintage treasures at thrift stores and out-of-the-way places. I love being inspired by decorating books and magazines; then, taking that inspiration, along with books, lace, fabric pieces, and old things and renewing a room with a little romance.

Now, I would like to pass the Kreativ Blogger award along. Choosing particular bloggers is quite a task for me, as I love everyone so much and think you are all very deserving! Listed below are a few among many of my deserving, inspiring friends.

Jennifer at http://www.quailandmanna.blogspot.com/
Jo at http://www.abritintn.blogspot.com/
Kathleen at http://www.sassygranny.blogspot.com/
Kim at http://www.thevictorianparlor.blogspot.com/
Lady Pamela at http://www.ladypamelascottage.blogspot.com/
Rebecca at http://www.rebecca-gatheryerosese.blogspot.com/
Sue at http://www.quiltmamasue.blogspot.com/

Please take some moments to visit them. You will find great inspiration from their beautiful blogs! God bless all!

21 comments:

  1. Dear Andrea,

    That was very beautiful to read...thank you for sharing!

    ~Nadine

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  2. I am so thankful that our Master Designer knows just how to put us all together and that He isn't finished with me yet!
    What another beautiful blog, Andrea. I am always blessed to visit with you. Thank you so much for your gift of inspiration and encouragement!

    Thank you also for passing on the Kreativ Blogger Award to me. I am so humbled.

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  3. Always such a pleasure to read and to re visit.
    As a stitcher, I find the thought of God's tapestry design interwoven into our lives is wonderful.
    Of course in any stitching we can make errors, but a dera friend told me that there should always be a mistake in every creative work, because it is human. How lovely to think that whatever errors in our tapestries we are loved unconditionally by Him.

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  4. Lovely analogies. Thanks for sharing the Greek definitions, they really add so much! I'm thrilled to think how God weaves threads of gold, the fabric of Christ into our nature, so He shines in us to the lost.
    Blessing

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  5. I think believers all over the world are thinking about grace right now, wondering at the generous outpouring of the Spirit. Thank you for another affirming post, fellow traveler!

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  6. So true.... I am always inspired
    to come to your blog and be spiritually
    filled!!! :) Congratulations on your blog
    award... it is very a special place to
    visit!!

    Love~ Miss Jen

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  7. Your post took me back to my college days and a rug I made after learning all about the warp and the weft. I enjoyed the Greek definitions too.

    Congratulations on your Kreativ Blogger award Andrea. You are so deserving. I enjoyed your list of loves too. Coming here to visit is always a delight.

    Blessings to you!

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  8. When you wrote, "...God's own hands carefully crafting, taking strand after strand, placing them in His divine loom, putting all together, knowing presently the finished work that will be," I was struck with wonder at how He presently can see me finished. This gives my heart encouragement to endure the painful parts to my necessary tapestry to bring Him glory. To God alone glory is given with every post you write. Thank you for the help to look up today.

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  9. Andrea, Summer Blessings to you.
    Really like your post today. I want to reread this in the quiet of the night when the household is asleep. Sometimes I have to have complete quiet to let what I'm reading soak in deeper.

    Andrea, as I strolled down your blog page and noticed your side bar tidbits...I noticed new info. They are especially tender and helpful.
    You have a beautiful blog and I'm so glad I know of this. This ministry is such a blessing to us. Thank you for sharing heartfelt writings.

    ~D~

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  10. Yes, the scriptures sure do say that God is at work in us weaving His likeness using all our experiences. I try to remember that in the challenging times. It helps to think of it so positively. You write about this beautifully. I congratulate you on this award and see so much creativity here on your blog. I enjoyed learning more about you.

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  11. Beautifully written, as always...I especially want to always remember,"When others view us, they view the work of our King."

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  12. Thank you for passing on the Kreative Blogger award. It is very special for me to receive it as today is my birthday. I will take some time and give it some thought as to who to pass it along to. You are a blessing to me.

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  13. Andrea--thanks so much for passing on the Kreative Blogger award, but even more, I am thankful that we met. You are SUCH an inspiration to me, especially on those days when my three young ones aren't everything I'd like them to be! Your description of us as "His chosen fabric" is beautiful--there'll be no missing stitches if I rest in His hands. Thank you.

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  14. Beautiful post! Thank you so much for dropping by my blog. I, too was surprised to see we shared the same name.
    I am thankful GOD's words thru me on my blog spoke to you. I will be saying extra prayers for you today. Prayers for healing, restoration, strength, comfort, peace, and GOD's divine touch. He is the Great Physician and knows what is best for you.
    Blessings and prayers, andrea

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  15. Your analogy about us being a tapestry in the making has always been one of my favorite pictures of my life.

    I do love the way you put your thoughts together, as always. God is indeed glorified through you and your writing.

    Thank you for receiving the award I passed on to you, and your kind words about me. We are both humble creatures giving all the praise and the glory only to our Creator alone.

    I have prayed for you, that God will be sufficient all your needs for the coming days. May he be your strength, your nourishment, your healer, your comfort, and you guiding light.

    Love,
    Lidj

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  16. Love the word study friend! The verse in Psalm 139 about God's "knitting us together in our mother's womb" comes from a Hebrew word meaning "to adorn with colors." I've always loved that imagery. It fits with what you're saying here.

    On another note, being immersed in the arts and crafts community here in Gatlinburg this week, I've seen tons of expensive items I would love to take home. I always plan on taking a little. This year involved some pottery from a new potter and two silk prints by an artist who does extraordinary work. I spent a great deal of time talking with her about her work and inspiration behind her colors, etc. I'd love to show them to you sometime.

    Oh, I also visited my favorite bead shop and made several pairs of earrings for next to nothing! Such fun. How I ache with the leaving. Honestly, I was made for mountain living. We can both claim ownership here.

    Sorry this is so long. I've been missing my blog friends!

    peace~elaine

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  17. Thank you for sharing such beauty. Our Father is definitely perfect in Patience. May we follow by the Power of the Holy Spirit. Have a wonderful weekend.

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  18. Andrea,

    This post reminds me of reading Edith Schaeffer's books. I thought it was her ideas in "The Hidden Art of Homemaking" that were coming to mind but after searching a little I guess maybe it is just all of her books as a whole that made this impression. Hope you have a good Fourth weekend.

    P.S. Yesterday my husband and I were so blessed to have all eight of our children (four married and four still at home), their spouses, and my seven grandchildren for dinner and a family photo. Only one was missing, my son-in-law who is stationed in England but is deployed to Kuwait. God is so good.

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  19. Thank you dear friend for sharing this honor with me:). It is such a pleasure to visit you once again as I have missed my blogging girlfriends this past week while on vacation. Although circumstances may limit my blogging over the next few weeks I must say that your posts always inspire and comfort me.

    Thank you:).

    Blessings,

    Kim

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  20. Such a beautiful post!! I often like to use the illustration of the back side of a piece of fabric and how that is what we see...muddied colors, intertwined threads, knots, and chaos. Our lives on the backside often look like a jumble of nothing, but God sees the front side...the beautiful patterns and the richness of the details. He sees the finished masterpiece. His design, His creation, His beloved Bride.

    I hope today holds many beautiful blessings for you sweet friend.

    xoxo
    Cori

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  21. I don't know if a guy belongs on your follower list but I am on unless you block me. Reading God's word on the side of you blog makes you highly rated in my eyes and also in God's eye. I will be peeking in once in a while but don't always write. Have a great day!!

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Thank you for visiting. I cherish your thoughts. You are special to me, but most of all, you are special to God, who loves you with everlasting love. May your life be swept into His joy and peace.

In the Wonderful Love of Christ our Savior,

Andrea