Wednesday, December 6, 2017


            Every year those Christmas lights were tangled.  Every single year, when the boxes came out, the complaints started.  "How did these get so tangled?  This is going to take all day!"  I remember sitting on the carpet with lights piled in my lap, tackling the mess with impatient little fingers.  If my mother dared offer help to her frustrated little girl, I would refuse, and storm into another room with my project, determined to untangle at least one strand all by myself.
            As an adult, I still hide away when there is untangling to be done.  I have learned to accept help with Christmas lights, but when it comes to the tangled mess of my own heart, I often revert to childish methods.  I wrestle in frustration.  Offers of help scare me away, and I take my mess into a secret place where I can dwell on it in peace.  I set my problems on my lap, and I try to sort everything out.  I know I need to go to God for help, but I do not want to go unless I can get my thoughts organized first.  I imagine myself untangling things, lining them up, and sorting them into piles:

Let's see...   I’ll put the sins in this pile, the hormonal glitches over here, the good works over there, the medical problems here, the fears over there, the understandable weaknesses here, and the legitimate complaints I have against other people right there. 

Good.  Now, I have a nice organized list of things to bring with me to God.  Now, I can tell Him exactly what solution I need for each of my problems.

            Of course, it never works out that way.  As I wrestle, I feel more like the child who is trying so hard to untangle Grandma’s Christmas lights.  I pull and tug and make every effort, but I never find the beginning or the end.  I work, unceasingly I work, but my efforts only make things worse.  It is still a tangled mess.  The pile changes shape, but the knots are still there. 
            I do not bring an orderly list of concerns and requests before God.  Instead, I take the tangled mess, and I throw it at Him in frustration.  I demand that He sort it out, that He makes it right.  It lays at His feet, I sulk on the floor, and I wait.

tangled lights Pictures, Images and Photos

            He bends down low and embraces His tangled daughter.  The white robe He wears envelops us both, and it swallows up all of my tangles.  For a moment, I quit fighting, and I rest in the presence of Jesus.

"I will greatly rejoice in the LORD; my soul shall exult in my God, 
for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation; 
he has covered me with the robe of righteousness, 
as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful headdress, 
and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels."  
Isaiah 61:10

originally posted 11/26/11

1 comment:

  1. Great words, Emily. So much like my own life!



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