An ounce of understanding is worth a pound of experience. I remember visiting a rug factory in Egypt. They made silk carpets the old-fashioned way. As I walked in, the first thing I saw made me almost laugh. The rug that was being worked on in front of me was terrible. I would never in a million years buy such a hideous thing. I could not imagine even taking it as a gift. I would certainly NEVER put that ugly thing in my house!

Then I walked around to the other side. My jaw dropped. It was the most beautiful, exquisite piece of art I had ever seen. If only I had enough money to buy it. . . . I would have proudly put it in the most prominent place in my home, showing all my guests this incredible masterpiece.

What changed? My view. When I walked in, I was looking at the back. It was not a nice thing to see. It was filled with irregularities and chaos. That’s just like life — many things just don’t make sense. We ask why. Maybe we should change the question to what — What do You want me to learn from this, dear God?

When we learn to view our circumstances from God’s vantage point, we are able to endure them much better. It helps to know that God knows what He’s doing in every ugly situation He allows us to face. He sees the finished product — and once we see it for ourselves, we’ll agree that it’s beautiful. Having this understanding in the middle of a trial is priceless.

Pain, health problems, the discouragement you feel after encountering difficult setbacks, and even conflicts which tug at your heartstrings are all part of the plan God is working in your life. Don’t frown upon them. Instead, ask God to use each of them to give you a better perspective of the masterpiece He is fashioning in your life. You’ll be amazed when you see the other side of the rug.


Excerpted from Why Life Hurts by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr. ©2012. Also available on Amazon Kindle for purchase.

Devotional by Pastor Jim Scudder, Jr.