Thursday, September 26, 2013
What Seems Impossible by Ruth Smith Meyer
A new writing assignment in my inbox—my heart quickened with anticipation. I am always delighted when they appear, so I eagerly looked up the scriptures on which I am to base the devotional writings. The first, Ephesians 4: 7-16 held some promise. Then I turned to the next ones, 1 Corinthians 5:1–13, 1 Corinthians 6:1–20. My heart and my enthusiasm dropped to my boots. How am I to come up with an inspirational, family-type devotion based on those scriptures that talk about sexual sin and turning the sinner over to satan? My first inclination was to cry out, “God, how can I possibly do this?”
The process hasn’t gone very far past that yet. I still don’t have the complete answer, but I’m glad for past experiences when I was faced with something I felt entirely incapable of doing.
When I was fifteen, I was working as a mother’s helper. One morning, she presented me with a length of red fabric and her daughter’s favorite blouse.
“This morning you can sew a blouse from this material,” she told me.
“Where is the pattern?” I asked.
“Oh, I don’t have a pattern—you can just use the blouse as a pattern.”
I examined the blouse more carefully. The back extended a few inches over the shoulder to form a yoke at the front. From that yoke the blouse front had gathers. It had long sleeves with wide buttoned cuffs. There was an elongated, lace-edged collar. It definitely was not a simple pattern for beginners!
“I’m sorry,” I told my boss, “I don’t think I’m capable of doing this. I’ve never made anything without a pattern and I’ve never done something as complicated as this—even with a pattern. I just can’t do it.” I ended emphatically.
“Oh go ahead and give it a try. You won’t know for sure unless you try.”
“What if I ruin the fabric?”
“I’ll forgive you if you do, but I think you’ll do well. I won’t watch and make you nervous. I’ll go work in the kitchen.”
“But I may need your help,” I almost plead.
“I don’t know that much about sewing myself, so you just go ahead.”
What was I to do? I breathed a desperate prayer then began taking careful measurements, and measuring again. I drew it out on paper, adding enough for seams, gathers and pleats. Slowly, piece by piece I cut the parts of the blouse and began to sew. The project took the whole day and still wasn’t complete. My body was stiff from the tension I felt.
The following day, I completed the collar, buttonholes and buttons, and heaved a big sigh. When it was tried on, I could scarcely believe that it really fit. I was amazed several months later when the mother told me she almost had to insist her daughter leave it with her to wash, for she loved wearing it so much.
That blouse wasn’t the last “impossible” task I faced in life. In fact, I always thought of that day when I was presented with another new “impossible” challenge.
That red blouse is fore-front in my mind today as I wrestle with those scriptures and pray for insight and help to do the task before me. You never do know what you can accomplish unless you try. God can’t even work through you until you take that first step.
My latest published work is in the anthology, "Fifty Shades of Grace"
but you may also be interested in my two adult novels and children's book
that helps little ones deal with the death of a loved one.
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