Look At The Other Side

February 22, 2016
by Joel Jongkind

Isaiah 55:6 – Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. (NKJV)

I have a number of hobbies which occupy my limited free time. One of them is doing needlepoint pictures. During the winter evenings, I will work on those, quite often while watching some television, or just in the quiet of the room. It is a very rewarding way to pass the time. I have done at least one every winter for many, many years. I did one for each of our grandchildren when they were small — pictures of teddy bears or pet animals. I also have done a lot of landscapes and copies of famous paintings. Some I did for others, some we gave to our children, some are in our house, and a couple I gave to a church bazaar to be sold. Most, if not all of them, turned out to be quite nice.

When I am working on them, I have to look at the back side every time I finish a thread, and then, I see the unidentifiable jumble of threads and the patchwork of the completed areas of the picture. It is only when I turn it over that I see the true picture and what it is going to be or what it is as a finished product.

There are times in our lives when we are bogged down by the problems facing us. It may be at work, at home, or in the church. When these problems face us, we are often inclined to look at their dark side with the unfinished story, struggling to cope as best we can, without seeking the Lord's help or looking for some good in whatever situation that we find ourselves in. But the Bible tells us that in such situations, we need to look at the other side:

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 – Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (NIV)

Prayer: Our Father in heaven, there are so many times when we fail to see the good part of life as we struggle with one thing or another. It is our prayer that You will give us the ability to look for the good in whatever situation we find ourselves in. We ask it in Jesus' name. Amen.

About the author:

Joel Jongkind <austria67@bmts.com>
Meaford, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    So true Joel.


    Dear Joel,
    Thank you for your devotional and your prayer.
    May God cause us to look at needs and problems from God’s viewpoint, praying for His assistance and direction.
    Keep writing.


    Praise the Lord for your devotional. The Lord is the greatest teacher. When we don’t know our future at least we have the reassurance that we know who holds the future good or bad and He is to be trusted. He goes with us every day and night as we journey toward heaven. At almost 75 years of age, I am rich beyond measure.


    Joel,
    Your devotional reminds me that here in Texas I need to get to work on the last needlepoint stocking for our family. BUT, I work in the heat of the summer not the cold of the winter. Your comparison was effective to our scripture was effective.
    Thank you.


    Hello Joel
    Thank you for today’s devotional. I have always appreciated your contributions in the past but it took today’s reference to stitching to motivate me to send you my thanks for sharing your faith and insights to encourage others. I too love to needlepoint and have often despaired about the threads and untidiness at the back of my canvas. Your analogy today will remind me to remember God is at work and worthy of all our trust. Thanks again and keep up the good work. Blessings.


    Hi Joel, I like this analogy and have used it a few times in messages I have given in Seniors’​ Homes, my reason being I know many of them have used this skill in their lives and can readily pick up on the spiritual idea I am trying to get across.
    I also find it very applicable to my own life and I am reminded of many instances when our Father helped me avoid such a tangle before I got into it. Thanks for the reminder.

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