There are times when I have something in my teeth that feels like it’s the size of a large pebble but, when I extract it, it is merely a speck. Same thing with a booger or a splinter. Have you ever felt like you had a plank stuck in your finger yet, when it is removed, are surprised by how small it is?
Sometimes our lives, our issues, our joys, our sorrows seem immeasurably large. When we look at them in context, they are really much smaller than they appear. Each of us is a tiny speck in the universe.
The history of the universe is like a giant tapestry. There is a pattern. An unbelievable beautiful, intricate amazing pattern. We do not see the beauty of the pattern when we focus on our own tiny part of the pattern. Imagine yourself standing among the fibers of a tapestry. It may look to you like you are surrounded by black. Or that there is a lovely blue, but why is there this speck of orange over here? The orange doesn’t fit. If we could see it all through God’s eyes, we would see the whole pattern. And, if we could see the whole pattern, we would see the purposes of the things we think are unnecessary or just don’t fit.
This is where faith comes into play. We have to trust that God, who is the weaver of the most breathtaking pattern ever made, a pattern whose beauty is beyond our imagining, knows what He is doing. Things that may seem out of place, or even unspeakably ugly to us, are part of a pattern. That pattern, that plan, is far larger than we are.
Take your focus off of your own life for a time. Walk in the woods and explore the glory of God’s creation. Look at how the food chain works. There is a perfect balance there. It may seem ugly when we see a wolf tear apart it’s prey, but it is part of a pattern of perfect balance. It fits.
Look at the planets and how they revolve around the sun. Look at our own planet and how God placed it just the right distance from the sun to allow for life. To close to the sun, you burn up. Too far away, you freeze to death. In the words of the fairy tale, Earth’s distance from the sun is “just right”. There is a pattern in the solar system. A grand, beautiful pattern.
Look at any ecosystem. Explore a lake, river, mountain range, plains, desert, whatever. Notice how all life in that area supports each other. Animals eat plants. Animals eat each other. Each individual ecosystem is self-sustaining (apart from their need for the sun) and it is beautiful how all things that each species requires is met by the other species (plant and animal) in that ecosystem. Again, a grand, beautiful pattern.
I am not disregarding our responsibility for our own actions. It is true that much of the ugliness in this world is caused by sin. Our world is damaged, sick, because of sin. But, even the ugliest of man’s sins can be used for a greater purpose, to fit in a grand pattern.
I’m not saying that our issues don’t matter. God cares about even our smallest issues. I’m just saying that we often look at them from a wrong perspective. If you look at a tapestry through a magnifying glass (how it would look if you were a speck standing among the threads) and it looks ugly. If you back up and look at the whole tapestry, it looks beautiful!
It’s a matter of perspective.