“A time to tear, and a time to sew;” Ecclesiastes 3:7a
I have a friend who truly embodies the seasons described as, “A time to tear, and a time to sew.” Some translations use the word “mend” in place of the word sew, and for me, it somehow brings a deeper meaning to the visual and in the case of my friend, it holds incredibly true.
My friend had a same-sex attraction from a young age, which led him into a life in the LGBTQ+ community. In talking with him, he describes himself during that time as, “always knowing about Jesus, but never feeling like I could be worthy of His love or acceptance.” When he began attending church at the invitation of a friend, he started to hear about and encounter the unconditional love of Jesus in a way that he’d never experienced before. This surprised my friend and led him to begin wrestling with his sexuality. He was trying to understand how God could love him while also knowing that God’s plan for sexuality is between one man and one woman for one lifetime.
It is difficult to wrestle with internal battles such as these. While not everyone can relate to my friend’s specific struggle, I do believe everyone understands the feeling of the internal “tearing apart” that he experienced. We all have times in our lives that are difficult – moments of identity crisis, financial hardships, mental health challenges, failure or disappointment. It may feel sometimes that they’re tearing us apart from the inside out, but God in His loving kindness, does not bring us to those places just to leave us, but rather He leads us to repentance.
My friend quotes Isaiah 61:7 as a banner over the journey through which he walked, “Instead of your shame there shall be a double portion; instead of dishonor they shall rejoice in their lot; therefore in their land they shall possess a double portion; they shall have everlasting joy.”
When we submit to actively being conformed into the image of Christ through progressive sanctification, it can feel like we are being ripped apart. However, as He pulls the sin out of our hearts, He is also sewing righteousness back into us for He is creating a beautiful tapestry from the pieces of our lives.
We must do as Hosea 6:1 shares:
“Come, let us return to the Lord;
for he has torn us, but he will heal us;
he has struck us down, but he will bind us up.”
Because just like He did with my friend, the Lord in His kindness takes us from our sin, the mud and mire in which we once lived, and He sets our feet on sturdy ground and into a right relationship with Him.
And in that, of this we can be sure, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.
- Have you ever been through a time in your walk with the Lord that has felt like a tearing apart?
- In looking through your sanctification journey so far, what has God sewn into your life that was not there before?
Philippians 1, 2 Corinthians 5:17