Lessons From Quilting (2): Perseverance

Romans 5:3-5 – Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. (NIV)

Of the multitude of quilts that I've made, only a few have been large: three queen-sized bed quilts for me and one each for my daughter and my son. I'd much rather make a lap quilt or a wall hanging that I can finish in a week or less. I'm always more interested in finishing a project than enjoying the journey along the way.

My first queen-sized quilt was inspired both by my first name, Sharon, and by learning that fourteen other women at my winter home share that name; I made a Rose of Sharon quilt. It involved a technique that was new to me, but I persevered through long days of cutting, sewing, quilting, and the mess that it created in the workroom that I shared with my husband. At one point, I was tempted to dump it and give the whole thing to charity — I've done this in the past with projects that didn't turn out. But I didn't, my husband loved it, and it gave me joy each time I walked into the bedroom.

Perseverance is a challenge, whether it's finishing a quilt, staying with a job that we don't like, or staying in a marriage through its ups and downs. My husband stayed at his job for 25 years, one that was boring and didn't use his talents to the fullest, so that he could support his family. The husband of one of my friends is sliding into dementia. She is a mighty example of faith as she ministers to him and his needs, often to the detriment of her own.

Christ gave us the ultimate example when He went to the cross for us. At any point, He could have called down a legion of angels to rescue Him or called down fire from heaven to destroy Pilate, Herod, and their courts. But He didn't. When Pilate asked Him if he was the King of the Jews, He replied, "You have said so." And that was all that He said; He didn't defend Himself; He didn't explain what He meant by that statement (not what Pilate thought); He didn't say anything to get out of the situation. Instead, He endured unimaginable pain and persecution to sacrifice Himself for our sins.

May we follow His example, persevering in whatever trials that life brings us, so that we can be witnesses to others and bring glory to God.

James 1:12 – Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. (NIV)

Prayer: Father, help us to overcome our own natural desires for pleasure and ease, to endure the trials of life, and to persevere to the end and our glorious home with You. Amen.

1 comment on this post.
  1. PresbyCan Feedback:

    Amen, Sharon.


    Thank you, Sharon, for providing us with a thought-provoking devotional. Blessings.


    Thank you, Sharon; your sharing gives my day a good start.
    Bless you and all the other writers.
    (Quebec)


    Thank you for this strong devotional Sharon.
    You live in Apache junction ! What a super spot to live … an awesome part of God’s creation! Your whole state is really!


    Dear Sharon,
    Thank you for a great devotional.
    I pray that God will bless you in writing, and continue to give us ideas that will bring people to faith and growth in Jesus Christ and his forgiveness and love.
    Keep praying and writing.


    My grandmother, long since passed to Glory, made me a Rose of Sharon quilt, and pillow shams. It is only a double (they didn’t have queen sized beds in those days), so doesn’t fit my queen bed, but I still have it and appreciate all the work she did. I am not a quilter, but a knitter, and I understand what you mean about finishing projects. I also like projects which finish quickly. I usually have several on the go at one time. I like starting a new project to see how it will look, and then it takes perseverance to finish it.
    May God bless you in all you do for Him.
    (Ontario, Canada)


    Hi Sharon,
    I have really appreciated your two devotionals about Quilting. I don’t quilt, but I have made dozens of needle point pictures, small ones as well as large ones, and sometimes, especially if I was doing a difficult one, I would be ready to quit, and sometimes I do for a while, but then I pick it up again.
    At my Bible class we talked about patience one time and one of the residents told us:
    “Patience is a virtue, possess it if you can, it’s always held by women, but never held by men.”
    Well actually that is not quite true. I am a very patient person when it comes to that kind of activity and I am sure you are too.
    Blessings.


    Hello
    Thanks, I needed to read this today. It seems my feelings can easily get hurt when my husband does not say what I wish or need him to say. I cannot understand why it seems difficult for some to say thanks or that was good. I was doing my devotions this morning and reading Bible and then asked God to put someone here who is of the same mind set as me …. get together and talk God and positive things etc. not the worldly things and gossip. I am so thankful for the Penticostal church I found here a few years ago. Answer to prayer for sure.
    So thanks for the scripture that remind us to persevere and hang in there with the assurance, God is right there with us.
    God bless.


    Sharon,
    I wanted to thank you for both of the devotionals you have written for the PresbyCan Daily. Both have been such a blessing.
    I started quilting this past year, a craft I have wanted to try forever but with the raising children and all the busyness of ministry I kept saying I would do so once I retired. Well, my husband and I retired, and I have a quilting room, complete with a design wall that my husband made for me. As I learn this craft, I am always amazed at how one can take pieces of ‘nothing’ fabric and make something significant.
    Your first devotional about focus has stayed with me, and every time I am sewing I am reminded of how quickly we can get off course if we take our eyes off the line. It is such a great word picture, and I intend to share your example in the classes workshops I am teaching. It is such an applicable illustration.
    Today’s devotional on perseverance is also impacting. I have wanted to give up on projects several times, and I do still have a couple that I am now going to make myself plug away at, simply because it is a good exercise in the ‘keeping on, keeping on’ aspect of the craft and my spiritual walk.
    So thank you for your timely devotionals and for sharing your love of quilting. Isn’t it funny how so many things can have spiritual lessons for us in our everyday life?
    Thank you again for your reminders and for your willingness to share.
    Blessings.


    Sharon,
    Your devotional on perseverance was very helpful, and I enjoyed it very much. Thank you!


    Good morning, Sharon!
    How appropriate is this devotion on perseverance! I, along with others on our women’s ministry team are facilitating a ladies study called Defiant Joy by Candace Payne. This next week’s lesson in about perseverance (which is probably mentioned about 6 times! (Largely from James 1:2-4 and Hebrews 12:4-11. We are discovering that when a person faces trails with the right attitude and spirit, he or she actually ends up more mature and joyful than those who never face hard times.
    Bless you, Sharon, in Jesus Christ! (I have never had the patience for quilting but I certainly LOVE appreciating the handiwork of those who do!)
    (NV)

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