Gifts of HOPE
It's done- I finished. Whew! It took four hours, but there are no more. My head hurts, and my neck is stiff, but they are hanging outside on this sunny, breezy day. There were a few minutes when I wanted to give up, but I knew if I kept on, the end result would be worth all of the trouble I was going to.
It all began yesterday with a simple science and history project. How do you dye cotton yarn with indigo? That was the question. We assembled all of our essential ingredients from the plastic tub where the fabric would be dyed to the lime powder- we had it all. Make the indigo paste and keep it at such and such temperature. Next, make the lime paste. Then, mix the indigo paste and the lime paste together, and keep the mixture warm. Check and double check, the chemical reaction was immediate.
Obviously, it was time to dye the fabric, no, not yet. An hour later, we were putting the final touches to the preparations. Finally, the white yarn was immersed. So far, everything was working as we had predicted. Five, ten, fifteen minutes, as the time ticked by; speculation ran rampant. What would the yarn look like when it was removed from the dye bath?
When we removed the yarn, it was an olive green color. What? Where was the beautiful blue? One final chemical reaction had to occur, oxidation. When the green fabric was exposed to the air, the beautiful blue began to appear. It was truly something to see. The end, done, it was finished, hooray!
Not quite, now the yarn was a mess. It was a beautiful blue, but it was twisted and tangled. That was last night. I must admit that I walked away from the messy yarn. Unfortunately, no one untangled the yarn overnight. This morning, it was still the same mess. This morning the untangling and rinsing began.
Four hours later, and the yarn is straightened and rinsed. It took a lot of work and some frustration, but that hope that I nurtured in my heart proved to be the strength I needed to make it through the tedious work.
As I neared the end of my chore, I wondered if God ever gets headaches and stiff necks from untangling the messes I get myself into. Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (NIV) reminds me that those tangles in my life have a purpose; He will take the messes and make them beautiful.
Just as I know that God knows the end of my story, I know He is the one who put that enduring spark of hope in my heart. And in the end, I know that when everything is completed, I will be even more beautiful to Him than the yarn is a beautiful blue to me.