When I decided to do some knitting the other day, I was out of practice, especially with any fancy stitches. The pattern that I chose seemed to be simple enough, but I was soon in trouble. Was I adding, dropping, splitting the yarn, making one "yarn over needle" too many, or was I just being careless? At any rate, the pattern was not shaping up as it ought. In fact, there was not much of a pattern at all. It was a real mess.
Many a time I worked my way back to the point where the problem seemed to start, where the correct number of stitches were present as required. Finally, it looked as if I had mastered the process, but it could happen again, as easily as not.
It made me think of the pattern that God has for every life, and of the mistakes we make, when we "miss the mark", or sin. Our implementation of the individual perfect pattern that God has for each of us must look pretty messed up from His perspective. With my knitting, I could work my way back to where the error was made, and make a correction. Although life doesn't seem to give us the opportunity to correct mistakes, there is a wonderful and ready remedy at hand: repentance. If we are willing to "face the music", so to speak, and ask forgiveness from our Creator, Lord, and Saviour, wondrously, in God's book of life, the page is wiped clean.
In knitting, errors are readily visible. With sin, often there may be only a sense of unease, emptiness, or a longing for peace and contentment that is elusive. Something isn't right! There could also be a sense of guilt. We need to bring it to the Lord for cleansing.
In life, as in knitting, sometimes we find ourselves repeating the same mistakes over and over again, and even adding others. That is where discipline comes into play. Keeping on God's straight and narrow pathway takes even more discipline than that required in knitting, for sometimes we fail to see how our mistakes are ruining the pattern that God has in mind for our life. Praise God! He loves us so much that He who is called "The Hound of Heaven" continues to remind us that we need to come to Him again for restoration. May we become true disciples!
Job 36:10 – He openeth also their ear to discipline, and commandeth that they return from iniquity. (KJV)
Ephesians 4:26 – 'In your anger do not sin': Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry. (NIV)
2 Timothy 1:7 – For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. (NIV)
Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, we thank and praise You for Your wonderful patience, and especially for the gift of Your Son, through Whose sacrificial life, death, and resurrection power we have access to Your forgiveness and the hope of everlasting life. Help us, we pray, to have the persistence to keep trying, and the discipline to follow where You lead. In Jesus' name. Amen.