I was 8 ½ years old when my brother, Martin, was born. I felt like he was my baby. I bathed, dressed, and fed him. I have always adored him.
I vividly remember that one Christmas, my dad wanted to give him a very, special present. He wanted to build him a tree house. He worked on it every night for weeks. He would go outside after Martin had gone to bed and begin the difficult work of measuring, sawing, nailing, and sanding. He very much wanted to keep the end result as a surprise, so each night he would tear down what he had built.
It was as if he were creating a giant puzzle. He would create the pieces, make sure they all fit together, then take it apart until the next day when he would create more pieces, make sure they all fit together, and then take it apart again. Over and over, night after night.
On Christmas Eve, he put all of the puzzle pieces in place, and then he put them together securely, one last time. And then he added one more thing: a very long string that tied to the tree house, traveled through the backyard, into the house, through the den, and attached on the other end to a wrapped gift. This gift was set aside from the others, waiting for the perfect time to reveal its surprise.
On Christmas morning, we all enjoyed the chaos of opening presents, oohing and aahing over what we had received. Finally, the time for the big reveal had come. This was the last present to be opened, and though it was not for me, it is the only one I remember from that Christmas.
I can still clearly see in my mind’s eye, Martin’s face as he began following the string. He was still in footie pajamas, and my mother had insisted that he add his big puffy coat on top. We all followed behind as he followed the string to the tree house. It was a little boy’s dream-come-true.
Sometimes there are seasons in our lives when we feel that we are being torn down over and over again. It is a long, painful process. But if we understand that God is our Everlasting Father, we will realize that each time we are torn down, He is using that as a puzzle piece in a great creation. We must trust Him as the Perfect Father, knowing that He will never allow anything to happen to us that can’t be worked for our good. He is creating a masterpiece out of the pieces of our lives. We must trust the love of our Everlasting Father.