Monday, March 9, 2009


I was cleaning out my jewelry box the other day and found this . . .

I don't know about you, but there is no way I could ever untangle this mess. If I had the ability, I wouldn't have the patience.

And God, like He does so many times, gave me a mental picture to go with my find. A picture of a child trying to fix something that is obviously way past his or her ability. They start off with tremendous confidence, relishing their independence, but before too long they experience a melt down. They either throw the object down on the floor causing more damage to it, they walk away and give up, or they go find someone who can fix it.

My daddy has always been able to fix anything. From a toy to a bike. From an air mattress with a hole in it to my cars. And he has never told me "no, go fix it yourself". A good daddy helps their kids. They let them try to figure it out on their own but they're always there when the cry for help comes. And even if they aren't a genius like my daddy, they usually find someone who is.

So, I've been thinking about that tangled mess of gold chains and how it kind of looks a lot like life. And I know I've heard God say, "Hey Cheri! Are you ready for some help? Aren't you ready to give it up? Why don't you just give me the mess? I'm waiting."

Actually, I have given Him the mess. Over and over again. But I get frustrated when I think He is taking too long, or I don't like the way I see Him working it out. Sometimes the way He does things is just plain scary.

And if you don't believe me, just look at Joshua or Gideon or David. You can read how God worked their situations out in Joshua 6:1-5, Judges 6:33; 7:1-8, 1Chronicles 14:8-16. His ways are definitely not our ways. (Isaiah 55:8)

So, I take back my mess. I work on it a while. I make myself miserable and everyone around me. And then like the child. . . unfortunately way too much like the child, I throw myself a good little fit and have a meltdown. Then I humble myself and recall His mercies, and I ask Him to please take it back. I don't want it. I can't do it.

Those tangled chains are of no use. They can't be worn around my neck. Their beauty can't be appreciated. A twisted and broken life in our own hands is the same way. It can't be lived. Not the way God wants it lived. And the beauty and purpose of that life can't be seen either. Not until it is given to the One who can make sense of it, and restore it to what He created it to be.

There is something that I can do with the tangled gold. I can have it melted down into something new. No longer chains but maybe a charm or a nugget. A new thing. And God has promised, if I will walk through my circumstances with Him . . . through the fire, He will sit as my refiner. In perfect mercy and compassion, He will make my life a new thing.

So He watches as I try to untangle everything. And He waits. He waits for me to give up. Because God knows my frame, He pities me as a good father pities his child. (Psalm 103:13)

With tenderness and new mercies, He waits to hear, "Help! I can't do it."

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