Sunday, July 09, 2006

Underside of a Quilt

“…so Saul took his own sword and fell on it.” I Samuel 31:4b

According to my NIV Bible Study notes for verse 4, this is “the culmination of a long process of self-destruction.” In I Samuel, we have seen that Saul was chosen to be the Lord’s instrument to rule over his people. In spite of Saul’s anointing, he was unwilling to submit to the requirements that came along with his appointment and was eventually rejected by God. In I Samuel 31:1-6, we read how Saul ended his self-destructive life, by falling on his own sword. How did Saul’s life unravel in such a tragic way?

Time and time again, we have seen how Saul was blinded by a self-focused life, making him unable to submit to God’s perspective. There have been times in my life that I have questioned God’s perspective: times of emotional pain, times of physical loss and times I just could not understand why. And there have been those tragic times that I have been blinded by such a narrow self-focus that like Saul, I have become a rebellious child of God.

How can our vision be so distorted that we so easily miss the mark (or God’s standard)? Charles Colson uses the metaphor of a quilt to help define this human dilemma, illustrating the looming difference between God’s view/perspective and our own. Imagine with me for a moment that there is a beautiful quilt covering our world. God sees the top of the quilt: beautifully crafted with brilliant colors and an intricate, well-planned design. Our view is the underside of the quilt which shows tangled knots, frayed threads, and a confusing inverted blueprint. Using this metaphor, do you agree that relying solely on our distorted perspective is unwise?

What a sad ending to a life of potential. Because I am at the midpoint of my life, I have begun to think a lot about legacies. Questions like, “what do I want my life statement(s) to be” are daily considerations. After studying the life and death of Saul, I can now adopt a life statement that might look something like this: It is better to lean on God’s understanding than to fall on my own sword.


What trials cause you to become rebellious? When faced with depression, anxiety, life losses and heart aches, do not lean on your own understanding—practice obedience. Trust God, read his Word, talk to him, lift your focus from the tattered underside of the quilt and look to Him…trust his perspective and his design for your life.

Today’s devotional was written by Diane Viere

*from Life Line Devotionals


C. H. Green said...

Thanks for the great devotional. I went and subscribed with the link. Hope all is well with you.

Debi D said...

Thank you for you exhortation today. I too have been thinking a lot about Saul and the fact that I do not want to be or become like him! Your post put the icing on the cake and was very timely, Diane.

MugwumpMom said...

Excellent post. How true. And I've also been thinking alot lately about legacies etc..what fruit is in my life, etc. Seems like God is stirring His daughters up.
Thanks for this, and for your encouraging words left on mine this morning.
Have a wonderful day.

Danielle said...

This is powerful. Very powerful for me to read this morning. I too have fallen on my own sword. Now, I fall on Him, into Him...well, I'm trying.

We can surrender to ugly-self. The self that got us into this mess in the first place.

Or we can surrender to a Risen Lord.

Blessings this Monday morning!

Susan (5 Minutes For Mom) said...

What a powerful devotional.
I'm going to try to remember:

"It is better to lean on God’s understanding than to fall on my own sword."


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