On a mission to get it done, I just kept going … going … going at break neck speed. After all, I’m pretty good at what I do and I know I’ve got this. Until I took a step back and saw what mortified me.
The ‘it’ that I’m referring to is crocheting an afghan. Now, before I go any further, let me preface by saying that I’m a strong novice. By no means am I good enough to teach the ‘how to’s’ of crocheting techniques. In fact, I’ve had many, many moments of pulling yarn back several rows to correct a huge error. But this one was really a big faux pas (I felt that would sound a tad bit fancy and less harsh) and caused me to roll it up and put it in the bag for another day.
All along, I was whistling a happy tune, having just learned a new ‘easy’ stitch that was going to be my simple repeating one throughout this current project. I love easy, especially when it yields big results in shorter time. Somewhere along this happy path, I got off track — like waaaay off.
My soft and squishy blanket had not retained its intended shape. Apparently as I was humming along and yarning over and looping here and there, my pattern had taken on a mishapened form. Instead of the intended (and planned) rectangle, it was looking more like a trapezoid! For those of you that are geometrically challenged (as I am), the trapezoid is an inverted triangle with the pointed end closest to the bottom sliced off.
The night I decided to (gloat over) survey my near finished accomplishment, I laid it out on the bed and discovered in horror just how bad this really looked. And it was indeed awful.
“How did I allow this to happen?”
Certainly I did not want it to disfigure nor had I planned to waste all that time (hours to be exact) creating this huge mistake. But there it was staring back at me and there was no denying that something had to be done.
Often times, we are on a similar train of thought when it comes to our walk with the Lord. We’re whistling a happy tune of sorts, attending church every week and maybe even a small group Bible study. Greeting other congregants and fulfilling whatever volunteer obligations we’ve signed up for. We read our daily devotional and we’re out the door. All boxes checked. Our Christian ‘wardrobe’ is well-pressed and draped.
“But is that a real relationship?”
29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:29 NIV
Yoked to Jesus. Connected with Him so intimately that I move in sync with Him. Standing so close to Him that I hear His Whispers. Letting Him take the lead rather than me moving so far ahead that I don’t even realize I’m moving according to my own cadence. Learning from Him. Boom! (That’s the sound of a face hitting the pavement.)
Learning from GOD requires me to stop and listen more than talk or move.
I remember a dear pastor from many years ago who used to say, “The humble ones are the teachable ones.” To sit still and be open to receiving and then the application. And that application part — it may not come for days or weeks or months after first hearing it. The application will come when GOD says we’re ready.
Be prepared to sit still for a bit, Sister. GOD often puts us in park for longer than we anticipate.
7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7 NIV
My soul can rest in His care because He cares for me.
I may not get to a place that I humanly desire by a specific time — and that may very well be GOD’s protection plan over me. Being settled in that fact is trusting Him with the faith He’s given me and for the best outcome possible.
Reading without understanding and exploring and grasping the lesson in the Scripture is time that is unfulfilled. That’s just the halfway mark, Sister. We’ve stopped the process of transformation and growth by halting a component to learning: studying. Don’t let that word scare you. It’s not like school where GOD will grade you pass or fail on a written exam at the end of the week. He’s not looking down at you with a ruler in His Hand waiting for you to make a wrong move. Rather, He’s calling you to come, get closer and lean in to receive.
Can’t know what’s in the Word without reading the Word.
You might say, “Well, GOD is GOD and He knows my heart.” And you would be right. He knows every thought, intention and action before we even have it in our head. But that doesn’t discount or eliminate the need to sit with Him and learn from Him. To ask Him to show us where we can and should grow.
To be very honest: we don’t know it all. I’m sure that didn’t take you by surprise. But all too often I think that we only admit that when we want to explain a deficiency or give ‘reason’ (I refrain from using the word: excuse) for missing the mark.
Will we do it right the second or third time around? Probably not. And it’s likely we’ll be stumbling around and asking for His forgiveness when we mess up at the 50th and 60th time. But we will continue to go and grow at His leading. We won’t become stagnant because we wait on His timing. And we certainly won’t miss out on anything worthwhile. He will see to that.
“So, what’s the first step to getting in step with the Savior?”
You can’t do anything good without His Strength. If you want to learn to make the best decisions for your life, you’ll need to know what and how He plans to lead you.
“Where can I find all of this?”
In the Bible.
You will learn to hear His Voice in His Written Word as you pray about your situation. Just ask Him. Then follow His lead on the cross-references found in the margins and footnotes of your Bible. That’s a great start to private Bible study with the Master.
You’ll find that solid Biblically based teachings on podcast, online Bible studies, in-person Bible studies, sermons and books by authors with sound doctrine are equally helpful. There are a myriad of resources and commentaries that are available at little to no cost online.
5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. James 1:5 NIV
26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. John 14:26 NIV
Unraveling my error in my blanket, as painful as it will be, is necessary for me to progress and complete a good outcome. I cannot dwell on the number of hours I have lost because of my mistake. Looking forward to doing it the right way should encourage me to doing it right in the projects to follow.
18 “Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
19 See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:18-19 NIV
Pulling back the yarn to where the error went awry is humbling. It exposes my weaknesses and lack of paying close attention to what was in my hand. Just as allowing Jesus to get me on the right course is letting His Hand undo some of my unseen and unknown tangled mess, showing me where I may be way off track so that my relationship with Him thrives and flourishes and I live and experience my best life ever.
Surrendering my day-to-day movements and decisions (big and small) to the Lord will show me more of Who He is and help me to understand who I am in relationship with Him.
This peace will get me through all the storms of life with the courage to keep going, even knowing that I will not do life perfectly. But that I will be doing life with the Perfect One.
“Are there areas in your life and walk with Jesus that need to be unraveled and redirected back to Him?”
Surrender now to Him and let Him untangle your mess and unravel your plans so that you can embrace His Plans for an awesome rest of your journey this side of Paradise.
I love you to Heaven and Back, Girlfriend ~~
LindaRJohnson, TitusTwo Visionary