The Master Craftsman by Heather Smyth
Anyone who knows me well knows that I love to knit. My Grandma Norman taught me to knit when I was a teenager and I don’t think I’ve left the house without my knitting since.
One of the things that I love about knitting is that it all starts out the same: with a ball of yarn and a set of needles. From here, anything is possible. Mittens. Scarves. Hats. Toys. Sweaters. Socks. The possibilities are endless.
To begin I choose my pattern, select my wool and needles and begin to cast on stitches. And then, one by one, stitch by stitch, row on row a piece of knitted fabric starts to form. Something from nothing. Created by my own hands. Slowly, thoughtfully, with purpose.
The Bible, in Psalm 139:13 says “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.”
I think about this verse a lot when I’m knitting… God knit me together, knit you together. And just as I carefully choose each pattern and ball of wool, God carefully put thought into who you and I would be, and who we would become. He chose the colour of my eyes, the freckles on my face, the number of hairs on my head. There is no one is just like me and no one is just like you. We are each one of a kind. A carefully crafted, hand knit human being. Created in the image of God himself.
Sometimes when I knit I notice a mistake that I’ve made. If I catch it soon enough I can go back, stitch by stitch and make the correction. Knitters sometimes call this “tink-ing” (knit spelled backwards). This is an easy way to fix a mistake and takes just a few minutes.
Other times I notice a mistake from many rows below that has gone unnoticed. This is trickier to fix and requires a bit more patience and skill. I isolate the stitch and tear back that one stitch many rows below to the mistake, correct the stitch and slowly, deliberately, carefully use a crochet hook to reknit the stitches, one by one, row by row. This is a slow process but if done correctly it can save a lot time.
Some mistakes are just too big to fix by going back a few stitches or by isolating just one single stitch. After much consideration and after exploring all the other options, I will find that the best solution is to pull the needles out of the knitted fabric and unravel the wool back to the mistake. Stitch by stitch, row by row become unraveled leaving a heap of wool where there once was a knitted piece of fabric. Once the mistake has been ripped out I will carefully put the “live stitches” back onto the needles and begin knitting again. Sometimes by unraveling my work by pulling the needles out I have lost hours of time.
Maybe you feel like your life is falling apart, that you are becoming unraveled.
I want to remind you today that God is the One who knit you together in the womb and who continues to knit you together today. God has picked out the pattern of me and the pattern of you and calls us each by name. With the precision of a Master Craftsman, God is carefully knitting you back together.
Stitch by stitch. Row by row. God’s not finished with you can be certain of that because “he who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it in you until the day of Christ Jesus.” -Philippians 1:6
Devotional: Streams in the Desert by L.B. Cowman