The emperor of China had a problem. Something was destroying his mulberry trees. So he did what any brilliant man does when faced with a problem he can’t handle: he turned it over to his wife!
When Empress Ce Ling Shee looked at the trees, she noticed a moth laying eggs on the mulberry leaves, eggs that of course hatched into caterpillars. After a few days, each caterpillar spun a thread that it wrapped itself in, forming a cocoon. The empress plucked one of the cocoons from the leaves and dropped it in hot water. Slowly, the delicate and beautiful thread began to unwind. It was a half mile long when the empress stretched it out and measured it! Then it occurred to her: perhaps this thread could be woven into cloth.
And that was the moment the silk trade was born. An empire of extraordinary beauty and wealth began with an emperor’s garden disaster!1
Sometimes it’s difficult to envision a positive outcome when we’re in the middle of a mess. We look out onto the garden of our lives, find it in ruins, and feel helpless. We don’t even know where to begin to make things right. How could the emperor have ever imagined — and how could we imagine — that unfathomable beauty and blessing could rise out of the thing that seemed to be his destruction?
But making beautiful endings out of impossible situations is God’s specialty. He never wastes a single trial. He transforms it all for our good and His glory. Read these words from 1 Peter 1:
In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith — of greater worth than gold… may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. — 1 Peter 1:6-7
If we keep following the light of God’s presence through this dark and difficult world, we will see God turn around our impossible messes! That’s His promise! Nothing can stop the amazing redemptive power of our God.
Bring it all to the Weaver of beautiful endings… The worst heartbreak… The most difficult failures… The most painful days…
The Enemy may throw every weapon he has at you, but he is not the one who gets to write the end of your story.
It’s amazing what God will do with a broken life if you give Him all the pieces.
Five Minutes in the Word
We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. — Romans 8:28
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me… to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. — Isaiah 61:1, Isaiah 61:3
Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. — James 1:2-4
I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten. — Joel 2:25
Blessed are you when people hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in Heaven. For that is how their ancestors treated the prophets. — Luke 6:22-23
- Robert J. Morgan, Nelson’s Complete Book of Stories, Illustrations & Quotes (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2000), 744.
Excerpted with permission from 5 Minutes with Jesus: Quiet Time for Your Soul by Sheila Walsh, copyright Sheila Walsh.
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Give Him all the pieces of whatever has been broken. God is the only One who can make something beautiful out of it. Come share your thoughts with us on our blog. We want to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily