The Unraveling part 4

This month – the ladies at my church started our “give thanks” campaign called “ThankfulHeart” where we were challenged to be still before God for 5 mins of stillness and write 3 thankfuls per day. We believe that thankfulness changes the chemistry of the heart. As I have entered in, I sensed the consulation of the Lord. He is the God who comforts us when we go through such entanglements as suffering, grief, and disappointment.

In 1 Kings, Elijah had gotten to a place after such struggle and battle with even some victories where he said “I’ve had enough, Lord!” He hid himself in a cave just like we will emotionally, mentally, and physically hole up in our houses, turn off the ringer, silence the notifications, and hide away from life. We do this when fear comes knocking on our hearts and doubts start to fill our minds. Isolation and self-pity come. Elijah wanted to escape just as we often long to escape. Elijah moved from brave faith to fearful flight. He had become entangled. Why? His focus shifted. He had a major victory over the prophets of Baal but then his eyes looked to the struggle as Jezebel set out to kill him. He entered the wilderness.

But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness and came and sat down under a broom tree. And he asked that he might die, saying, “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my fathers.” And he lay down and slept under a broom tree. And behold, an angel touched him and said to him, “Arise and eat.” And he looked, and behold, there was at his head a cake baked on hot stones and a jar of water. And he ate and drank and lay down again. And the angel of the Lord came again a second time and touched him and said, “Arise and eat, for the journey is too great for you.” And he arose and ate and drank, and went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb, the mount of God.

1 Kings 19:4-8

Do we forget that God is there and sends us consolation when we are entangled? Some how circumstances cause us to forget that we do not have to worry about tomorrow because God is already there. When did I forget that God is sovereign and everything I go through is for His glory and my goodness. Without that understanding and truth – I flounder in my life – I’ve forgotten that joy is at the end of that tether. The tether of My God is so big, so strong, and so mighty there is nothing my God can not do. He is sovereign and joy comes when I know that even in the hard and crusty parts of life – He is God and I am not. In remembering, I remember that He is good! That is who He is. A good good Father.

So how do we get untangled? I dont believe that we can do it alone much like how God sent an angel to help Elijah. We need people in our lives to help us when we are trying to hide in a cave. I have found that to make it through I need 3 kinds of friends.

  1. The friend who will hear my hurt, sorrow, pain, anger, and joy. Be real about how you feel!
  2. The friend who will ask me questions to help me process those emotions and get my brain back online to thinking well again.
  3. The friend who will tell you exactly like it is.

I’ve certainly felt heard. I’ve certainly been challenged to check my assumptions and rethink my thinking. Yet the onslaught has persisted. Then I had lunch with my friend that I haven’t seen in quite some time. As she began to ask me how I have been, where I have been began to roll out all over the table infront of us. As I told her how I’ve been struggling and how I have felt. She simply said, “All that you’ve stated is sin.” Yep thats right she said sin. The fear, the anger, the hurt, the pride, the stress, all of it. Sin! Then she said, “Sounds like you have some repenting to do.” Now, I know you are cringing right now but this was the most truth spoken in love I needed to hear.

She was right! I spent the next couple of days in prayer – following the leading of the Lord in repenting, forgiving, and letting go.


Or do you presume on the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience, not knowing that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?

Romans 2:4

Back to sovereignty and the untangling… now hang on, dont run – keep reading…

“Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?”

Amos 3:6

If God who makes crooked paths straight and can make a crooked path that no man can make straight – why do we think that good and evil would not be very similar? God is good and there is no evil in Him. Yet why couldn’t God who is good use evil to drive us to Himself. If God is God and I am not…. then who am I to decide what is considered good and what is considered evil? So then we must rely on God’s Word to tell us what is good and what is evil… correct?

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

Isaiah 5:20

I dont know about you but when life is really hard I am a terrible interpreter of my situation. God is the writer and creator of the entire story. Therefore, I must know Him and see from His viewpoint. This is why being still before Him matters so much.

Be still, and know that I am God.

Psalm 46:10a

When we allow quiet and silence, stopping all the noise, something in the spirit happens….

Let me ask you a quick question, “when life is really hard do you find quiet or do you find noise?” Noise is distraction. Any distraction. Quiet allows us to actually hear the mental chatter, acknowledge what we are actually thinking and feeling, then tell it to Shhhhhh before the King of heaven and earth. Why does is need to shhhhh? Because that mental chatter is continually trying to figure it out, to seek, to know, and understand the meaning of what is happening without God’s view. That is definition of vanity. It’s all vain glory and it wrings us right out of any joy because it only holds vexation – more disappointment and sorrow. Only God who is good is able to give us light in our eyes to see the grace and goodness of what He is doing. Only God gives joy in the middle of the mess.

Listen, what you are in and dealing with – GOD IS IN IT! Now, what is He doing? Thats the question!

We want to have a measure of control; we want to be setting the odds ourselves. But Solomon knows that the results are not predictable by any of those who live under the sun. “Who would have thought..?” The results of all our endeavors are completely in the hands of God.

Douglas Wilson: Joy at the end of a Tether (book on book of Ecclesiastes)

So, even if Satan buffets us, he is but a tool in the hand of our God to drive us to repentance and Christ. If this world piles on the struggle it is but to drive us to our sheltering King. If the flesh vexs us and we find ourselves in struggle and sin, it is to turn us to the cross. Could it really be any other thing with such a good good Father, the one who unravels every tangle and snare we will ever find ourselves in. He is after all – The Good Shepherd – who finds the sheep in a thicket and saves the from the beast who seek to devour.

For the Christian who’s lost their joy, like a bird that’s lost its song, you can be sure it is then that God sings over us. He will bring the victory!

Zephaniah 3:17 The Lord your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.

Now for the healing….

Thanks for Listening,

Starla

Thank you for sharing your thoughts with me.

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