God’s “Progressive Gift” to Us at Christmas–and All–Time

Phyllis Beveridge Nissila

God’s “progressive gift”? It all starts here: For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb (Psalm 139:13).

My sister Barbara, whose handiwork and art is often featured in my headers (including the current one, 12/5/17), is an expert knitter, as well (and crochet-er and lace maker). She also paints pictures from photographs. For example, an 18×36″ picture of our grandmother carrying her violin outside on a snowy winter’s day  (circa 1921 when Grandma was in Teacher’s College, called, then, Normal School). This hangs in my house. I love this painting. View it, below.

But back to Barbara’s knitting.

Barb told me on a recent visit that there is a kind of “progressive knitting challenge” she found Online. Each week you get only a few of the directions and you don’t know what the final product or appearance will be until you are well underway. You could be knitting a hat, a scarf, an afghan. The most important instruction is, of course: follow the directions exactly and, I assume (because of my, failed knitting projects), keep the tension consistent.

I thought that at this time of gift-giving, this would be an apt metaphor for God’s “progressive gift” to us, i.e., how with dedication, time, and keeping a consistent focus on His Word and His wisdom, at length, His pattern for our lives will be fully revealed.

And it will be good; delightful, even.

But that’s not all He gifts us.

In you and me–God’s work in progress, so to speak–He also gifts us with the faith to keep going, and to know that His plans for us are good, and not evil, “to prosper…and not to harm (us), plans to give (us) hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11). This is analogous to the faith the knitters taking up the progressive challenge must have to continue working on the mystery project.


Here’s a sampling of Barbara’s more recent knitting projects, a collection of mini mice she made for a local fund raiser, and the picture she painted of Grandma–from an old photograph.

Mini mice collection.

Grandma: Florence Trepanier LaChapelle, 1903-1969

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