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Many times our lives seem like a mess and it’s often our mothers who come to our rescue. We don’t always see the wisdom in the things they tell us to do and sometimes we think that we’re smarter than they are. But we often forget that many times, they see life through the lens of their rich life experiences. Often, it is only later, when we look back, that we appreciate their wisdom and guidance. What is true of mothers, is even more true of God.

God’s Embroidery – An illustration

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. As from the underside I watched her work within the boundaries of the little round hoop that she held in her hand, I complained to her that it sure looked messy from where I sat. 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 said, “Father, what are You doing?” He has answered, “I am embroidering your life.” I say, “But it looks like a mess to me. It seems so jumbled. The threads seem so dark. Why can’t they all be bright?”

The Father seems to tell me, “‘My child, you go about your business of doing My business, and one day I will bring you to Heaven and put you on My knee and you will see the plan from My side.”

Author Unknown

A Learning Activity

  1. Ask the youth to imagine a big clock on the ceiling, the kind with hands on it.
  2. Ask the youth to then imagine the second hand moving around the clock in a clockwise direction.
  3. Ask everyone to reach out their hand and finger and point at the clock, and move their hands in a circle in the same direction the clock hand would be moving. (Demonstrate this for the group to see)
  4. Ask the youth to slowly lower their hand and finger to chest level, all the time still pointing at the celing and rotating their hand in the same direction.
  5. Now ask them to look at their finger and to tell you if their finger is rotating clockwise or counterclockwise?
  6. The answer: counterclockwise!


Make it Spiritual

  • What changed during the activity? – The youth’s finger has NOT changed it’s direction during the activity, but the perspective has changed.
  • Have there been experiences in your life that seemed messy, chaotic, without any apparent plan? Explain.
  • What are some of the lessons your mom has taught you? Did some of them seem to make no sense at the time?
  • Are there some things in the Bible that you once found difficult to undertand?
  • What are some ways that a mom or parents have a different perspective from a child or youth?
  • What lessons from your Mom or from the Bible now make sense because you have a different perspective?
  • What are some ways in which God has a different perspective from us?
  • What do you think some of the famous Bible personalities might say about this lesson? Jonah swallowed by a fish? Joseph sold into slavery? Israelites marching around Jericho and blowing trumpets? The disciples at Christ’s crucifixtion? Paul on the Road to Damascus? Moses in front of the red sea?

Make it Spiritual

  • What are some of the lessons for life we can learn from this story and the activity?

Make it Personal

  • Maybe there are some things in life that you don’t understand now. Maybe there are some things that look messy and without a plan. What is an area of your life where you need to trust in God’s perspective on things?
  • Take a moment this week to thank God for having a plan for your life, and working things out for your good.
  • Take a moment this week to thank your mother for also having a plan to raise you well and to help you to have the best things in life, for having faith in you and putting all those things in place so that one day you might be amazed and delighted at God’s plan for you.


“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” – Proverbs 3:5-6

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” – Romans 12:2

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; …” – Ecclesiastes 3:1-22

“Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.” – Psalm 139:16

“The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” – Proverbs 16:9

“But, as it is written, ‘What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him'” – 1 Corinthians 2:9


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