|“Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now |
for a season, if need be, ye are in
heaviness through manifold temptations.”
|—1 Peter 1:6 AKJV (emphasis added)|
|“As every man hath received the gift, |
even so minister the same one to
another, as good stewards
of the manifold grace of God.”
|—1 Peter 4:10 AKJV (emphasis added)|
|“O Lord, how manifold are thy works! |
in wisdom hast thou made them all:
the earth is full of thy riches.”
|—Psalm 104:24 AKJV (emphasis added)|
Someone once told me that the word “manifold” in the Bible means “many-colored.” Having never studied Hebrew or Greek, I can only take his word for it. But, it has often made me consider the beautiful way in which God artfully uses His grace to meet the various—or manifold—needs and trials of His people.
Like an artist who chooses exquisite tiny tiles that He can see as He works, He can also envision the full masterpiece and how all those tiles fit together. He chooses the crystalline white stones that glint and shine with the light. He chooses the colorful clays that catch the eye and make us happy: bright turquoise, the brilliant reds, the sparkling purples and rich greens. He also chooses the inky black tiles that set the colors off and lend variety and luxuriant contrast to the whole picture.
He sees the objects created by these various tiles in the picture that we never see, although we may get a hint of them in our lifetimes. But certainly, He envisions the total picture we have no eyesight for, and plans a masterpiece made from the pieces of our lives—manifold graces for the manifold trials. As 1 Corinthians 13:12 tells us:
Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
God will sometime allow us to see the intricate work of His loving hands that made something beautiful of our confusing and seemingly helter-skelter experiences of this life. I can’t wait to see the many mosaics of Heaven. Each of us will see the artwork He is creating now, and adore the Artist in the most magnificent gallery ever!