And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 (NIV)
I went to a bead shop with some women from work for a “bead party.” The plan was that we would have some “bonding time,” and each of us would come home with a new piece of jewelry to boot. I took some of my fused glass pieces hoping to incorporate some of them into my creation. The artist and her assistant oohed and aahed over them, then steered me to a wall of beads and helped me make a selection of what they thought would provide a beautiful setting for my art. Because I decided to focus on some clear glass in which I fused decals of sunflowers and leaves, I narrowed my choice of beads to some strings of golden pearls and some irregularly shaped sage green stones. I started stringing the beads in a pattern, one gold, one green so that the beads alternated colors. The bead shop owner urged me to be more creative. “Step out of the box,” she said. How often will I have to be told to do that when it come to art I wonder? So, I rearranged the beads placing one here, two there, sometimes as many as three of the same color in a row. It did make for a pleasing combination. As I strung, I noticed that some of the beads were flawed and misshapen. I continued to use the ones that I might have discarded if I had the choice. The beads came together on one strand, and I needed them all to complete my design. I could not afford to leave even one unused. Within the beads, I strung my three pieces of fused glass. Then, the artist twisted two strands together and the necklace became two dimensional. I noticed that with the shape you could not see the beads that were flawed anymore. It became one piece and very beautiful. Yet, I was still not satisfied. When I got home, I realized that I probably would not wear such an elaborate piece. I prefer jewelry that is much plainer. With its twists and turns, the beads were very elaborate, but when I wore them, it did not feel like me. So, I took the necklace apart and made it into a simple design. My fused glass pieces stand out more. And I am happier with it. As I worked, I thought about life. We are given only so many days to live. Some are good, and some are bad. Some are complicated, and some, easier to manage. Yet, when they are all woven together in one lifetime, we see God’s handiwork. While there can be places we would have preferred not having to go through, God uses them to make us into the people He wants us to be. Unlike my necklace, there’s no undoing a life once it is finished, but we can be confident that a greater Hand than ours is at work. Placed together, our days becomes a life of beauty.