I pray the story of my quilt will encourage you to get in the game.
Years ago, I decided that I should learn how to sew and I wanted my first project to be a king-sized quilt. I don’t recommend this as a first project to anyone wanting to try one’s hand at quilt making because it was a whoopin’! Not only did I have to learn the basics of sewing (like threading the machine), but I had to learn how to cut and measure the fabric into small squares, then sew the squares together into long strips, then sew those strips together with the goal of it forming a nice pattern when it was all done. After the top part is complete you have to get padding sewn in and then it was my job to hand stitch all around the edges of a king-sized quilt. My little side project ended up taking me about three years to complete.
After I completed the quilt, I took a picture of it, then I folded it very carefully and put it on the top shelf in the cabinet, and that is where it stayed. I know the purpose of a blanket is to provide warmth and comfort to the user but I was so worried that my kids would get a hold of it and get it dirty that it was never used for what I created it for.
Fast forward a few years later. I walked into my laundry room and saw my beloved quilt lying on the ground! I was worried it make have gotten dust or dirt on it from being so intimate with the floor but as I picked it up, I realized that there was more than dirt on my quilt. It was covered with grease stains on both the front and the back. My husband made the horrible mistake of using it to transport some work equipment in the back of our truck and when he was done, he threw it on the ground in the laundry room not realizing what blanket he used.
They say there are five stages of grief and I think I went through them all after this happened. My youngest daughter still remembers me screaming and crying in the laundry room as I was going through the denial and anger stage – and this happened over a decade ago! When I finally got to the acceptance stage, I washed and dried it, then folded it up and put it on the bottom shelf of the cabinet. If someone wanted to use it, fine…what more can be done to it?
It turned out that this blanket became the favorite in our house. My girls always chose it when they had slumber parties (probably because it was so big). If people were visiting they chose the quilt to use and even I, when I couldn’t sleep at night, would always select it over every other blanket. Needless to say it was used a lot over the years and because of that, it has been washed a lot. As I was folding it just the other day I realized that over 98 percent of the stains that used to be there were gone! You see, every time it was put into service it was washed. Every time it was washed, the stains were being broken down, the quilt was getting softer, and eventually the stains that I had thought destroyed my beloved blanket were almost non-existent.
The story of my quilt applies to us as well.
There are many people who don’t want to risk getting involved in the messiness of life. They are afraid of getting dirty, they may be afraid of failing at something, or they are afraid of getting hurt, so they stay high up on the shelf and never get to experience the joy of being used for a greater purpose.
Then there are those who have been hurt and stained by life. Unfortunately, they consider themselves as damaged goods that bring nothing to the table. They falsely believe they have nothing to offer. So like the first group, but for a different reason, they stay on the top shelf, hiding in the safety of the cabinet and miss out on the blessings of obedience.
The third group is stained and imperfect as well, but they stay on the bottom shelf easily accessible and always available to love and serve others. Because of their wounds and their stains they have great compassion for others. As they seek to serve, help, and comfort others they find the blessing coming back on them and slowly but surely their own wounds begin to heal.
In conclusion, I want everyone here to know that, like my quilt, you were created for a purpose. There is no amount of money, fame, or worldly success that is greater than the joy of doing what you were created to do. You have a gift that only you can give. There is a lost and hurting world needs that needs you – and you need them. I promise, that if you take the initiative, give what you can, serve where you can, and stay accessible by living on the bottom shelf, you will never be disappointed in the Divine results. Your faith will become a Fantastic Adventure In Trusting Him.
Fantastic Adventure In Trusting Him
Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.” Luke 6:38