The Thread

Imagine a living tapestry of threads and colour. Some of the threads are generations old. We, the children of men, can’t see the big picture yet, but one day we will. For now, we are children in our understanding. All we know is our part, in the back of the tapestry.

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. 1 Corinthians 13:9-12

The Lord thinks generationally whereas we tend to think everything revolves around ‘me.’ The Lord is thinking of the ‘big picture’ while we often can’t see beyond our small world.

God looks ahead to the generations to come and says, “There is more at stake here.”

Have you ever had times where you feel like you’re hanging by a thread? I have this year in 2020 after going through two lock downs and now cancer.

These are the times where, if we wait on the Lord, He will add His thread to ours to strengthen us. The Hebrew word for ‘wait’ is ‘qavah,’ which means ‘to bind together by twisting.

I know the colours of the threads that God the Father likes; threads of gold, blue, and purple.

They’re the colours in the curtains of the tabernacle and in the garments of the priests.

The big picture is beautiful, but if we spin the yarn, it can get tangled and there’s way too much scarlet in it. With the Lord’s help, the thread is untangled, exchanged for gold, and woven into a pattern in the fabric of redemption.

Redemption

Jesus has an interesting family line.

Rahab was a prostitute. She tied a scarlet thread on her window at Jericho and both she and her family were spared. Joshua 2.

Tamar acted the part of a prostitute after Judah forgot about her, and from that union came twin sons. At birth one of the sons had the scarlet thread tied to his hand to indicate he was to have the designation and privileges of the firstborn. Genesis 38:27-30.

To all appearances, Zerah seemed to be the one, but God had different plans, and Perez was the firstborn. The name Perez appears in both genealogies of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Wedding Garment

The thread can run through a wedding garment. Psalm 45 is a wedding song which speaks of a princess wearing a gown interwoven with gold;

All glorious is the princess within her chamber; her gown is interwoven with gold. In embroidered garments she is led to the king; her virgin companions follow her — those brought to be with her. Led in with joy and gladness, they enter the palace of the king. Psalm 45:13-15.

I think the thread was exchanged by the King at his arrest and trial. Mocked by the Roman soldiers, Jesus wore the scarlet robe for us.

Job, a good man known for his suffering said, “But He knows the way that I take; When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold.” Job 23:10

You’ll see the scarlet thread in my story, and you’ll see where it’s been interwoven with the gold. My book ‘The Kingdom, Here Be Dragons, Here Be Dreams’ has had very good reviews at Goodreads. I will supply the book free in exchange for a review or the purchase of my second book.

Links

What is the significance of a scarlet thread?

Stormy beginnings

calm-before-storm-1We celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary in 2014.  Married life began in a storm, and what a storm.  It was a one in 20 year weather event, apparently.  It had gone on for a week and shown no signs of abating.

The month of February is full on summer in NZ and we thought the weather would be good for our wedding.  Wrong!

I think it was because we had a big  evangelistic crusade in New Zealand at the time, and it had gone to Wellington, our capital which was only two hours away.  The campaign, Impact World Tour was brilliant because all the churches of different denominations came together and worked as one to reach people for the Lord.  We were all involved in different ways.

The devil didn’t like it and tried to rain out all the venues.  It was a spiritual battle.  The only problem was our wedding was being affected by the weather too.  I should have thought about it more when we chose the date.

Everyone asked us what plan B was for the weather.  There was no plan B.  My fiancee decided to go ahead with having the ceremony in the garden.  It had a strange calm about it, even though the wind blew through the trees around this place named Homestead Garden.

There is a scripture in Isaiah 25:4 that describes God as being a refuge in the storm. 

Homestead Garden b&w

Homestead garden

When we got married we invited God to the wedding, which went off without a hitch in an island of calm, with radiant sunshine.  Our guests  got sunburnt.  All the other outdoor weddings that day got rained out and blown out.  People were amazed that the storm didn’t touch us.  I’ve never known such favour.

As we were saying our vows, two Monarch butterflies fluttered their way across the lawn in front of us.  It was a beautiful sign to be given.  The butterfly has turned up at different places in the story.

You’ll see the butterfly emerge in Chapter 5 of my book ‘The Kingdom, Here Be Dragons, Here Be Dreams.’.  It flutters into the story again in Chapter 8, ‘Shelter in the Storm.’  This time, it’s not alone.

Here are a few photos of our wedding in the storm.

Windy wedding 2 Our wedding at Homestead Garden 3 resized Windy wedding 1

 

 

Seven circles

ChuppahEven though the Church was born in Jerusalem, it is separated from Israel – to our loss.  In these troubled and interesting times Messianic Jews (Jews who have accepted Jesus as their Messiah) are bringing back a cultural context to the Bible that was lost to the Church for over a millennia.

For instance, one night the couple who led my home-group decided to present the teaching of a Messianic Jew on the meaning and symbolism of a Jewish wedding ceremony.  This was for general application, to show parallels between a Jewish wedding and the Church’s relationship to Christ, outlined here:
http://www.gotquestions.org/Jewish-wedding-traditions.html

The teaching had ties to Jeremiah 31:21, where I had been given a word from Jeremiah about going full circle.  For me it was a Rhema word, that is a word for personal application.  It filled in a lot of blanks for me, as well as confirming the rhema word.

The confirmation on this occasion really amused me, because it was so Jewish. Even though Jesus belongs to us all, it reminded me that He is a Jew.  Jesus talked about the Bridegroom in some of His parables.

Chuppah 1In Jewish wedding tradition, the bride may circle the groom 3 or 7 times under the Chuppah.  This is generally an Ashkenazi practice.  The Ashkenazi Jew comes from Europe.

The Chuppah is a canopy under which a Jewish couple stand during their wedding ceremony.  It consists of a cloth or sheet stretched or supported over four poles.  A traditional chuppah recommends that there be open sky exactly above the chuppah.  So the Ashkenazi custom is to have the Chuppah ceremony outside under the stars, as a sign of the blessing given by God to the patriarch Abraham, that his children shall be “as the stars of the heavens” (Genesis 15:5).

Why does the bride circle the groom?

I love this explanation;

The bride, by circling the groom, expresses her awesome power over him.

The seven circuits are reminiscent of the biblical story of Joshua leading the Israelites into the Promised Land. They came to Jericho, a city known as the key to the land – if they could conquer it, the land would be theirs. But Jericho was protected by a big wall. There seemed to be no way in.

Similarly, every man has a wall built around his heart. Men are taught to hide their feelings, to create an impression of impenetrability, to make it seem that they have it all figured out. Men create elaborate defenses to hide any sign of weakness or vulnerability, and fiercely guard their deepest secret – that inside they are sensitive and meek, simple and soft.

But a wise woman can pierce this defensive wall. If she surrounds her husband with the protective aura of her love, if she envelops him with affection, and if she makes him feel that he is the anchor, the center, the focal point of her life, then he can feel safe and comfortable. When that happens, the walls protecting his heart come tumbling down. Then she has conquered him – all of him.

Source: http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/586014/jewish/A-Mans-Deepest-Secret.htm

In the next chapter of The Kingdom I had met the man the Lord had promised me, after going around him in a big circle.  This was the third time our paths had crossed.  The trouble was, he didn’t exactly welcome me into his life.  There was a big wall around his heart.  I found him cold and stand-offish, and didn’t know if I liked him all that much.  It wasn’t an auspicious start for us.