Recently, I found myself fighting with a tangled vacuum cord. Have you ever wrested with a tangled cord? Wondering how something could become so tangled? The more I wrested with it, the worse it seemed to get. I yanked, I pulled, with little change in how tangled it had become.
I became very frustrated and before too long I realized that it wasn’t really the vacuum cord. It was feeling like all of life is a tangled mess that has to be wrestled with. Can anyone say 2020?
Finally, I slowed down, and calmly worked to get the cord untangled so it would be usable again. As I finished vacuuming the carpet and wrapped the cord once again, I wonder how many times we get frustrated with the tangles in our lives, and if we would just slow down we could untangle it a whole quicker.
The image of the tangled cord stayed with me most of they day, as it seemed I rushed from one tangled mess to the next. Becoming frustrated and weary of how so many things could become so tangled. It doesn’t take long for us to realize that our world is pretty tangled. One side or the other has a way to untangled it, so they yank and pull. Mean while the knot in the middle grows tighter.
I spend a lot of time trying to fix tangled messes. It seems like there is never a shortage. In the Psalms David spends a lot of time writing out his petitions to the Lord. Some of those Psalms he wrote during some pretty big tangled messes, some of those messes he created himself, and others were brought on by others.
After my battle with the tangled cord, my heart went to the words of David, written in the book of Psalms.
But deal well with me, O Sovereign Lord, for the sake of your own reputation! Rescue me because you are so faithful and good. For I am poor and needy, and my heart is full of pain. Ps. 109: 21-22
I felt like the Lord was saying, “let me untangle the mess because I am faithful and good. My strength and reputation is far greater and reaches beyond what you can imagine…”
I let the words soak in for a few minutes. I realized sometimes tangled cords/messes aren’t ours to untangle. But it is our job to slow down, and listen to the Lord. Often times in the hustle and bustle of life we try to push, pull and hurry through the tangles, when really he is just asking us to let him handle it and rest in him.
If we want to become usable again, we have to become untangled. It usually takes some time and we remain calm. But on the other side of mess, is a story still waiting to be written.
So, if you are feeling a little like a tangled mess today, go ahead, take a big breath and let Him untangle the cord…
I wrote about Margin in my last post. It’s my word for the year. Since then I have been walking the tight rope of scrambling and resting in finding my normal. I was recently speaking to some people who are allowing God to transform their lives in BIG, HUGE ways about how sometimes we hold on to things because it has become our normal…our comfort zone so to speak…and I thought back to my word: margin. I really think that I have held on to things that I should have moved away from because holding on to them was normal. I had become so used to being known as busy that I felt like I had to live up to it…its what I knew…its what had become…comfortable. Except it really was not comfortable – it was exhausting. Since I wrote the blog, lots of life has happened. It was like I was declaring I must put margin in place and Satan stepped up his game. The journey of finding the new normal became unexpected, unscripted, exciting, terrifying and left me a little empty.
Empty is an interesting concept, because I believe empty is how God really wants us. When we empty ourselves of “us,” we let loose of all that we have been holding on to so tightly and we simply come to God, it is then that He can truly fill us with Himself. When He talks about us being jars of clay to be filled with the Holy Spirit, he can only fill empty things.
I found myself empty and sick. Physically sick. Emotionally drained. Spiritually empty. It was during this time that I found some truths that I needed to be able to move forward. I know this was confirmed in those days…I have to have margins. I have to create space in my life so that I can sing and say and declare “it is well with my soul.”
No one can make my soul well except the Author and Perfector of my faith, and for Him to be able to make my soul well, I must pay attention to the soul. To pay attention to my soul I have to control my schedule, my time, my commitments…I have to be intentional about spending time in the presence of the King. I do not want to sleep through the wonder of His holiness!
“Those who live at the ends of the Earth stand in awe of your wonders. From where the sun rises to where it sets, you inspire shouts of joy.” Psalm 65:8 NLT
I wish I could write that I have this all figured out…that I have achieved margin. I cannot! What I can write is that I am on a journey with the my Abba Father. He is writing my story. He is directing my journey, He is so faithful to correct, to encourage, to pursue, forgive, offer grace and mercy and hold me when it all seems too much to bear. He is filling me with things I didn’t know I needed and subtracting things I thought I couldn’t ever let go of. He is showing me that this journey is unexpected and unscripted only to me… He has not been surprised by one single step.
I am learning that whatever I face I can cling to Jesus, as so many who have gone before me have done. In the midst of whatever it is – saying goodbye to loved ones, letting go of hurts and anger, fighting unimaginable battles – we can cling to Jesus and sing it is well with my soul. It is not about the unscripted and unexpected. It is about trusting Jesus to see you through it…no matter what.
Challenging as it is…my soul has become my focus. My soul-care is vital to me being the daughter of the King He has called me to be. I choose to focus on Jesus and the full life he has for me…and when I say full I do not meet full of busy. I mean full of Him.
So this wonderful, messy, unexpected, unscripted journey continues…