If I handed you a red piece of paper and asked you to make a red origami crane, unless you’ve done it before, you will likely have a hard time even getting close to completing the task. There’s a specific folding process that must be followed to create a perfect origami crane. It may look like something only a skilled artist can create; however, with specific instruction just about anyone can make a near perfect origami crane. Without the knowledge of exactly how to complete each fold, you will be lost in a seemingly endless battle of trial and error.
Your life here in this world is many times more complicated than the origami crane. Try as you might to get every fold correct, you will inevitably make some mistakes. With the crane, you at least know what it’s supposed to look like when it’s finished. You have no idea how your life will finish. You make plans but plans change. You pursue goals but things get in the way. The truth is you are not in control of your life. You are not the master builder. You are not the talented artist making every crease just right. God is the one who is at work perfecting your life here in this world. God is the one who is bending, folding, and shaping you into a beautiful creation of His design.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.” Jeremiah 1:5 (NIV)
“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.” Psalm 139:13 (NIV)
“Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Psalm 139:16 (NIV)
When you first learn to make the origami crane, the first few folds reveal no evidence of a beautiful bird-like shape. Indeed, several folds into the process the paper still looks like a worthless collection of awkward creases. At this point, if found on a table somewhere, one might consider the paper no longer useful and toss it into the trash.
Sometimes, when things begin to fall apart in our lives, we question the value of our own existence. We question the process our creator is using to mold us into His desired shape. Keep in mind, even when our life looks useless and damaged beyond control, God has a clear view of the finished product. God knows the beauty the next few folds will reveal. When your life seems to be veering off in the wrong direction, or when you feel like you’re being pulled into darkness, reach out to God. Fix your eyes on your Creator and know without question He is in complete control. Everything will be made right in the next few folds.
“Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:14 (NIV)
One interesting aspect of Origami is the fact that many of the folds you first make are immediately unfolded and used as guides in folds further down the line. To the untrained eye it might look like you keep making mistakes and starting over. The truth is, every step forward and back is a well-calculated maneuver designed to prepare the paper for its final glory. In that same vein, we are a work in progress. While things may look dark, as long as we have our eye on God we are being developed in precisely the way He planned.
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10 (NIV)
If you have trusted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you are a child of God, held in the loving hands of your Creator. When you let go of yourself and allow Him to take control, you become God’s origami – folded, unfolded, shaped, and reshaped. The prophet Isaiah uses a different metaphor, but the message is the same; God will be carefully crafting your every moment until He has finished you to perfection.
“Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.” Isaiah 64:8 (NIV)
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