The Perfect Pattern
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” ~ Ephesians 2:10
My mom was a seamstress of the highest order. When I was a senior in high school, we went shopping for Prom dresses, made an additional stop at the fabric store, then she made my dress by modifying patterns she already had using the new fabric we had bought. She took pieces from different patterns, fitted them together, and came up with a new creation. The patterns were the standard by which she sewed, but they did not limit her creativity. What a gift! I have to confess, having grown up with that blessing, I tended to take it for granted, and occasionally even longed for a “store-bought” outfit. If I could only go back now and have just one more custom-made outfit, designed and sewn by Mom…!
Just like Mom used different pattern pieces and fabrics to come up with new creations, God uses different gifts, situations and life experiences to design the lives of His people; but Jesus provided the pattern. Although Jesus was fully God, He was also fully human. He said on several occasions that He could do nothing unless the Father made it happen; but He also said that when the Holy Spirit came to us after His departure from this earth, we would be able to accomplish all He had done, and even greater things than those. Now, that idea is pretty hard for me to wrap my mind around!
Jesus' life was characterized by devoted, compassionate and loving service. Just like Jesus, we are called to shine the light and love of our powerful, but very loving Father, into the hearts and minds of the people around us. God knows us completely and understands our weaknesses better than we do. That is why He can forgive us, again and again, even when we have a hard time forgiving ourselves; and He even uses our failures to shape and modify us for His ultimate purpose. He understands when we are attracted by the “store-bought” things of the world that can be almost irresistible to our human hearts. But He also knows worldly things will never completely satisfy our souls because we are created with a God-shaped hole that only He can fill.
You are God’s uniquely designed, perfect creation, and you have been fashioned to accomplish great and mighty works in His name. Your purpose may be something that seems unimportant to you, or it may go unrecognized by others, but your faithfulness will be noticed and blessed by God. You never know what amazing miracles He will accomplish through your life when you are willing to be fully submitted and used for His divine purpose as you abide in Him, seek His guidance, and offer your willing heart to Him to use in whatever way He deems necessary. When you follow His pattern for your life, He will transform even the smallest act of obedience into unimaginable treasures that will bless and beautify your life throughout eternity.
Prayer: Father God, thank You for creating us and giving us a unique purpose that only we can fulfill. Sometimes it is hard not to wonder what possible impact my life can have on the world, but when I do question it, thank you for reminding me of the amazing impact One life did have. Thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus, into this world to change everything in accordance with Your plan. I willingly give you my heart and my life, asking only that You would change whatever needs to change within me so that I will be useful and effective for Your divine plan, in Jesus’ name, amen.
“This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.’” ~ Matthew 6:9-10
“One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.” ~ Luke 6:12
“Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” ~ John 14:12
“Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” ~ Matthew 6:3
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” ~ Romans 12:2