Book #4 is a favorite classic of mine, The Count of Monte Christo, by Alexandre Dumas. I read it about ten years ago, and decided it was high time to read it again - and would be a lot of fun to listen to on an audiobook... which it absolutely was.
At its core, it is actually based on terrible themes of hatred and revenge. But something I noticed this time was that Edmond Dantes was a passionate and intentional man, for better or worse - as horrible as his revenge was on his enemies, he was all the more generous in his love and care for his friends. Also, I noticed that he gave credit to God for the good and bad things that happened to him and to others. As much as he planned and orchestrated the ruin or honor of the other characters, he trusted that God would accomplish his own will in all of it. Maybe there is some beautiful and praiseworthy truth there afterall...
While listening, I cross-stitched... a lot more work than it might look like. I filled in the white "shadow" behind the words and added the bottom shelf. Most exciting of all, I've completed 1/6 of the picture - woohoo! Time to move the frame over and complete the top third!
While I was adding the shadows, I felt a little confusion... they weren't always positioned where I thought they should be, and I was tempted to add in stitches here and there to make it look the way I thought it should. But I ultimately decided to trust that the person who designed the pattern knew what they were doing... and I'm glad I did, because well, they did.
And it reminded me of my relationship with God - how all too often his plan doesn't make sense to me, and I find myself trying to "reason" with him about how my plans are much better... ridiculous, I know. My daily walk with him is like a constant course in learning to fully trust him - with reviews, pop quizzes, and ever-increasing challenges. I've found that trust is much easier if I steadfastly hold on to the truth of his sovereignty - that He ALWAYS knows that He is doing and His plan is ALWAYS the best.