In our modern society, we’re all about control. Have you noticed that?
We have phones that can open our garage doors, cars that can make phone calls, computers that operate by vocal command. I frequently tend to yell at mine, but that doesn’t seem to stop it from choosing to update while I’m doing something important.
Out of my control.
I try to order life just right, because it’s how I think things should be, yet nothing seems to go as planned. Something small goes wrong, and it just gets worse and worse until I’m like a gardener left with a jumbled mess of thorny vines. And then I just grasp those vines in my bleeding, thorn-pricked hands and lift the whole ugly mess up to God and beg him to fix it.
But it isn’t the tangles that need to be fixed.
“This is what the Lord says: ‘You will be in Babylon for seventy years. But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I will bring you home again. For I know the plans I have for you,’ says the Lord. ‘They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me. I will be found by you,’ says the Lord. ‘I will end your captivity and restore your fortunes. I will gather you out of the nations where I sent you and will bring you home again to your own land.’” (Jeremiah 29:10-14 [NLT])
What needs to be fixed is the heart beneath the knotted mess.
I have found that the one solution to pretty much every problem in life, no matter what it is, remains the same: I must get out of God’s way. Every single time.
My plans, formed on my own, come to nothing good.
In 2015, I became engaged to a man I thought was following the Lord. I was so sure that after a month of dating, I agreed to marry him. I allowed my emotions to push aside the truth and blind me to the abusive nature of the man I’d aligned myself with.
By January 2016, I knew that this was not what God had intended.
For he promised that his plans always bring freedom, restoration, hope, and peace. And this relationship was not any of those good things.
I had built myself an emotional Babylon.
When I make decisions without God’s input, I am in the way of what he wants to do. He wants to work in our lives, but if we block his path because we think we know better or insist on navigating the map, he’s not going to force us to follow him.
God is the ultimate gentleman! He wants us to seek him.
But when we spend those moments in his sweet presence, we find that it’s there the tangled messes begin to come undone. It took nine months for me to hear what he was trying to teach me: that if I just moved, he could begin to heal my messy, tangled-up heart.
Yes, it did hurt. But not anymore.
Yes, it was hard. But I didn’t face it alone. My friends and family supported me.
And most of all, best of all, I had the peace I’d been missing. His plans are not always easy. In fact, most of the time they’re just hard.
But the best things in life are those worth the effort.
I do believe someday I will have a family of my own. God placed that desire in me for a reason. First I need to get out of his way so that he can undo the tangle inside me. I can’t love like Jesus does if I’m focused on the mess.
Beloveds, all we have to do is honestly seek him and trust him.
The beautiful thing is, he is already waiting for us.