A gentleman had a dream that he faced his Maker at the last judgment. He knelt before the Lord, along with all the other souls. Before each of them, their lives laid out like the squares of a quilt in many piles; an angel sat before each of them sewing their quilt squares together into a tapestry that was their life.

But as his angel took each piece of cloth off the pile, he noticed how ragged and empty each of his quilt squares were. They were filled with giant holes. Each quilt square was labeled with the stories of his life that had been difficult, the challenges and temptations he was faced with in everyday life. He saw hardships that he endured, which were the largest quilt holes of all.

He glanced around. Nobody else had such squares. Other than a tiny hole here and there, the other quilt tapestries were filled with vibrant colors and the bright hues of worldly fortune. He gazed at his own life and was very disheartened. His angel was sewing the ragged pieces of cloth together, threadbare and empty, like sawing air bubbles together.

Finally, the time came when each life was to be displayed, held up to the light, which is the scrutiny of truth. The others rose, each in turn, holding up their tapestries. The story of each of their lives had been so filled. His angel looked at him and nodded for him to rise.

His gaze dropped to the ground in shame. Quilt holes! He hadn’t had all the earthly fortunes of the others. He had love in his life and laughter. But there had also been trials of illness and wealth, and false accusations that took away his world from him, as he knew it. He had to start over many times. He often struggled with the holes, the temptation to quit, only to somehow gain strength to pick up and begin again.

He had spent many hours on his knees in prayer, asking for help and guidance in his life. He had often been held up to ridicule, which he endured painfully, each time offering it up to the Father in hopes that he would not melt within his skin beneath the judgmental gaze of those who unfairly judged him. And now, he had to face the truth: The story of his life was what it was, and he had to accept it.

He rose and slowly lifted the combined quilt squares of his life, with the holes, to the light. An awesome gasp filled the air. He gazed around at the others who stared at him with wide eyes. Then, he looked at the quilt tapestry before him. Light flooded the many holes, creating an image: the face of Jesus. Then the Lord stood before him, with warmth and love in His eyes.  He said, “Every time you gave your life over to Me, it became My life, My hardships, and My struggles. Each point of light in your life is when you stepped aside and let Me shine through until there was more of Me than there was of you.”

Not only do we have this man’s dream to teach us a valuable lesson, but the Word of God also has something to say. The Apostle James gives us encouragement because every person is blessed who remains steadfast under trial, for when they have stood the test, they will receive the crown of life, which God promised to those who love Him (James 1:12).

Then the Apostle Peter states that after we have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called us to His eternal glory in the Anointed One, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish us (1 Peter 5:10). Also, the Apostle Paul tells us to rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer (Romans 12:12). In addition, Paul also lets us know that no temptation has overtaken us that is not common to everyone. God is faithful, and He will not let us to be tempted beyond our ability, but with the temptation, He will also provide the way of escape, that we may be able to endure it (1 Corinthians 10:13).

But most of all, we have the words of our Lord Jesus who said, I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33). So, no matter how ragged your life may seem to be, as long as you allow Jesus to shine through, you will continue to be a light to this dark world. – Dr. Robert R Seyda

About drbob76

Retired missionary, pastor, seminary professor, Board Certified Chaplain and American Cancer Society Hope Lodge Director.
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