Nothing says “summertime” to me like a good quilt! I mean, just look at these pictures and see if they don’t make you feel an ounce lighter, happier? Content? Calm?
Something about a homemade quilt is so comforting, safe, simple. Just like the life I want to lead. Yes, quilts have been providing summer time fun for as long as I can remember….
- 4th of July gatherings with our cousins in the back of the pickup truck, watching fireworks. We would lie on our backs and watch the beautiful fireworks light the night, cool quilts cushioned beneath us or resting lightly on our shoulders.
- The Quilt Fair with Great Grandma. She’d make it the event of the day… viewing the displayed quilts with their patterns and colors galore followed by several amusement park rides at the playgrounds and a vanilla cone at McDonalds.
- Not to mention…Camping trips, backyard picnics…
- Yes, quilts even served as a make shift “stage” years ago for a “Peter Pan” performance by my kids in the backyard.
Even now, after a long and full summer day, nothing is more comforting than my cool and colorful quilt (made by Peach Valley Quilts: https://www.facebook.com/Peach-Valley-Quilts-2310090659222308/) to greet me at the end of the day!
It’s with all this thinking of comforts, simple life, and contentedness that God’s sweet Holy Spirit began to speak to me as I read my Bible. As I read Hebrews 3:17-18, I realized that THERE IS A CALMING PLACE OF REST for those of us who choose to live by faith. Another way to say it: It’s possible for us to enter into a “faith-rest life” by having faith in God alone. (Passion Translation footnotes).
What exactly is faith again?
Good News Translation says,
To have faith is to be sure of the things we hope for, to be certain of the things we cannot see.Hebrews 11:1
Yes, when we have faith—it is based on what God is doing– not what we can muster up or do or produce on our own.
It is by having this confidence that God will do what He says– that we can enter into a “faith-rest life”. Yes, we are able to rest even in the midst of the waiting because we have faith and it upholds us and gives us peace, calm, and rest even in the middle of circumstances. Not so unlike a favorite quilt. 😉
Are you facing problems that seem unsolvable today? Perhaps you feel backed into a corner with no where to go… all your last efforts and hopes are now silent. It can be a very defeating, anxiety-producing place… but it is the place that God’s grace, love and deliverance can shine all the more.
I was reading two different passages where this was displayed:
- Israelites Delivered from Egypt only to be Trapped by Enemies and Red Sea on all sides (Exodus 14)
- Abraham willing to sacrifice son, Isaac (Genesis 22)
In both these situations, the main characters were surrounded. No way out. Their hands were tied. Their last efforts, the last open door or window— slammed shut. There was no hope but for God.
- With the Israelites, they had just seen miracle after miracle performed to deliver them from Egypt, only to be backed into an impossible, hopeless corner right out of the gate. They complained, “Were there not enough graves in Egypt that you led us out to the wilderness to die?” (Exodus 14:1) It truly looked like their success was short lived. There was no way out. Thank goodness, Moses knew better and held onto faith.
- In Abraham’s case he’d received the promise of God that he would be the “Father of many nations” (Genesis 17:4). After many struggles of trying to manufacture the promise himself, Abraham saw God’s goodness and he was given a son. Success to the promise seemed right around the corner… yet, now God required Abraham sacrifice the “one and only means to an end” he had. How would he receive the promise now? Yet. “Abraham believed God” (Genesis 15:6). He had faith God would be the one to work it out.
Yes, in both these cases the people were backed into a corner…. No way of helping themselves out. And don’t you know, that is where our God continually shows up. It’s just amazing. He is “mighty to save” (Zephaniah 3:17).
- In the case of Israelites and the Red Sea, God has Moses lift his hands and the Red Sea actually split! The Israelites were able to walk through on dry ground. And not only that, but when the enemy pursued them through the sea, the sea collapsed killing each and every Egyptian who was in pursuit. The Israelites stood at the other side— delivered by God’s hand— and shouts and songs in thankfulness to God came from their lips.
- In the case of Abraham offering up Isaac, God provided the ram as the sacrifice. And in time, God’s promise to Abraham to be the “father of many nations” came to pass.
God came through. The main characters job? To believe. To have faith in God alone. This is our only responsibility too. (I know easier said than done at certain times!)
Even if the Lord has brought us through time and time again, we can often continue to go into the whole fight and flight mode over and over again (believe me, I HAVE been a master of this) when situations come up. Instead of getting caught up in that cycle of unbelief or striving for our own answers…
God longs for us to cuddle up with the comfortable, safe “quilt of faith”.
It’s in this safe place that the realization, the perspective that God is trustworthy, capable, and we can depend on Him– comes to the forefront. Our willy-nilly trying to work it out and muscle it out on our own, striving, stressing, white knuckling… it is useless. Let’s “out” that energy into our faith… into believing and trusting that He is God, He is mighty to save, and He will bring us through. His plan will be accomplished.
Yes, I pray that both you and I would wrap ourselves in the quilt of FAITH starting here and now. It’s faith that leads to a restful, calm, trusting life. Even when we are surrounded on every side. Even when physically it looks like things can’t possibly work out.
May you find your faith rising on the inside when things get tough. May you find rest because you are learning to lean on the everlasting arms. So many of the hymns say it best….
“’Tis so Sweet to Trust in Jesus” (lyrics at https://www.hymnal.net/en/hymn/h/568)
“Leaning on the Everlasting Arms: (lyrics at https://www.hymnal.net/en/hymn/h/558)
Or modern hymn: “Lord, I Need You” (video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LuvfMDhTyMA)
In all these songs, the truth is conveyed: we cannot do it without the Lord. Only because of Him all things are possible (Matthew 19:26).
Another one of my favorite quilts! Thank you Mrs. Gale & Hannah!
Our struggle falls away because we are no longer focused on what we can or cannot do… or what walls and situations surround us… Now we are focused on faith in our Lord. How He has come through for us and so many others in the past and He will do it again.
He is “mighty to save”, dependable and trustworthy to deliver us no matter what we face.
Let the quilt of faith, of a rest-filled life, a trusting life, settle on your shoulders today… let it bring you comfort, peace, rest, a sense of calm that overflows every nook and cranny of life. This is my prayer for you.
Until next time,
PS. I want to take a moment to speak to the friends who feel as if God has failed them. I wish I could wrap my arms around you dear friend, because I have been there. Honest ranting and wailing, why didn’t God show up for me the way I wanted Him to? If He is so great, so good, why didn’t He _______ (fill in the blank). I know there are so many views, so many components (fallen world is a big component), but may you find rest in the quilt of faith. May faith be restored to you. Perhaps something did not come to pass in the way you imagined, but it does not mean God failed. Often times, healing takes longer than we think or can be in a different way than we think. All I know is that ranting, wailing, asking the questions— it may feel necessary at times (and yes it is better to rant and wail at God than just turn away— He’s big enough to hold it all) but I pray that after the pouring of your heart before God, that you would find the comforting quilt of HIS PRESENCE wrapped on your shoulders from the Holy Spirit. He will whisper to you. Sing to you. Dry your tears. Reveal things to you. Help you heal and become whole again. Help your heart to beat again. He will minister God’s love and faithfulness to you. And in that warm embrace—that safe quilt wrapped on your shoulders— may your faith rise. May you feel the love of our Father and come to trust in Him again. Know that He never left you. His love is all encompassing. Overflowing. Compassionate. Mighty to save. And may you feel your faith rise, giving wings to your heart that has been so captivated before by hurt. May you live a new life… a deeper life… fully trusting in Our Father God. My prayers are with you.