When we are searching for reasons why bad things have happened or are happening to us, there are many things to consider. Two stories follow.
“When I was a little boy, my mother used to embroider a great deal. I would sit at her knee and look up from the floor and ask what she was doing. She informed me that she was embroidering. I told her that it looked like a mess from where I was, the underside. I watched her work within the boundaries of the little round hoop that she held in her hand.
She would smile at me, look down and gently say, “My son, you go about your playing for a while, and when I am finished with my embroidering, I will put you on my knee and let you see it from my side.”
I would wonder why she was using some dark threads along with the bright ones and why they seemed so jumbled from my view.
A few minutes would pass and then I would hear Mother’s voice say, “Son, come and sit on my knee.”
This I did, only to be surprised and thrilled to see a beautiful flower or a sunset. I could not believe it, because from underneath it looked so messy.
Then Mother would say to me, “My son, from underneath it did look messy and jumbled, but you did not realize that there was a pre-drawn plan on the top. It was a design. I was only following it. Now look at it from my side and you will see what I was doing.”
Many times through the years I have looked up to my Heavenly Father and wondered, “Father, what art Thou doing? My life looks like a mess to me. It seems so jumbled. The threads seem so dark. Why can’t they all be bright?”
He knows perfectly what is needed in our lives to make us obedient to Him and to trust Him with our lives and one day it will all be perfect and we will see the “why’s”. ”
— St Padre Pio
With some changes/additions, the following is from http://www.ftmeade.army.mil/SoundOFF/archives/SO2002/Oct%2024/html/10-24News-ChaplainsCorner.htm
Corrie Ten Boom of Holland was imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp along with her father and sister for hiding Jews in their home. Her father and sister both perished. For years following her liberation, Corrie struggled with why God had allowed this tragedy, especially, why God had allowed a certain woman prison guard to be so cruel to her dying sister.
God gave her an answer while she was touring one of the many European castles. Lying against the wall in the castle was a massive tapestry, mounted and stretched on a wooden frame. But Corrie could only see the underside of the tapestry, not the front. The underside was undiscernable—a confused spattering of twisted, knotted and loose dark threads.
Then workers in the castle moved the tapestry to its proper place, and Corrie saw its upper side. The tapestry was a glorious picture of mountains, meadows, cathedrals and castles. What a difference, seeing the upper side.
Then, Corrie realized that the events of this life are like the tangled, confused dark threads of the tapestry — they never seem to make sense. But, in heaven, we will see the upper side of the tapestry, so to speak. We will see how God, the weaver, has woven the dark threads of this life into something beautiful. When recounting this story to audiences, Corrie liked to recite the following poem:
“Life is but a Weaving” (the Tapestry Poem)
My life is but a weaving
Between my God and me.
I cannot choose the colors
He weaveth steadily.
Oft’ times He weaveth sorrow;
And I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper
And I the underside.
Not ’til the loom is silent
And the shuttles cease to fly
Will God unroll the canvas
And reveal the reason why.
The dark threads are as needful
In the weaver’s skillful hand
As the threads of gold and silver
In the pattern He has planned
He knows, He loves, He cares;
Nothing this truth can dim.
He gives the very best to those
Who leave the choice to Him.
The Scripture reminds us, “God works all things together for good, to those who love God, to those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28) Trust God and do not lose heart when the dark threads penetrate your life. God will bring from them good and beauty.
“Although the threads of my life have often seemed knotted, I know, by faith, that on the other side of the embroidery there is a crown.” Corrie Ten Boom
Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. James 1:12
Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. Revelation 2:10
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold I make all things new. Revelation 21:4,5