Inside out times

Pastor Thad Gifford - Contributing Columnist

Beth likes to quilt and she has made a number of beautiful quilts. Recently, she made an OSU-themed quilt for me, and she made it “Thad-sized!”

See, if you haven’t met me, I’m a big guy! I am 6’4” tall and weigh about 295 pounds. (Well the weight might be off just a little. We never like to tell how much we weight, do we?) Anyway, she made it a lot longer than a typical quilt and a “little” wider than a typical quilt. (OK she made it a lot wider than a typical quilt. There you have the truth about the size of the quilt.)

Before she put the backing on it, she showed it to me. I know nothing about quilting, but I did notice that the backside of the quilt has a lot more going on than the front side. The front side is beautiful. The stitches are all in a row and perfect to make some type of a pattern and the different panels are cut to make a pattern and everything just comes together in all of its beauty.

Not so on the back side.

There are threads hanging down, and you can see seams that need pressed. The pattern on the top of the quilt looks great, but underneath it all looks like a mess of thread and knots and seams and confusion. When she sews the backing on the quilt, all you can see is the beautiful finished product in all of its glory.

A quilt is a lot like life. The knots and loose threads and seams on the backside of the quilt show how the disappointments in life look to us. When someone we love dies, or we don’t get the house we wanted, or we are passed over for a promotion or we lose a pet who is part of our family, we know those things are bad and our whole life seems like an ugly mess.

But when we turn the quilt over, we see that God is using each thread and each knot and each seam and each disappointment in life to make something beautiful. All of the “bad” things in life that happen to us are actually being used to form a beautiful design, if we will allow God to do so.

As a matter of fact, Romans 8:28 tells us that “all things are working together for good to those who love God.” It doesn’t say some things or most things it says all things.

So the next time something goes wrong in your life, or you face a difficult time or experience a disappointment or lose a loved one, remember that God is using all of these things in life for His purpose and His purpose is to make us like Him. God loves you just like you are but He loves you too much to leave you like that.

And that is Something To Think About for this week.

If you are uncertain of where you are going to spend your eternity, and if you have any doubts about whether your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, please let me know, I’d be happy to talk with you.

Pastor Thad Gifford is the founding and lead pastor of the Crossroads Community Church, 62 E. Second St., London. He can be reached at 740-852-7800, email him at, or visit the church’s Facebook page at Crossroadslondon.

Pastor Thad Gifford

Contributing Columnist