Sunday, October 14, 2012

Tangled by Martin Wiles

How could something so carefully wound and neatly tucked away become the tangled mass I held?

Christmas lights are an anomaly. 

Regardless of how carefully I wound them on something made to keep them untangled, they knotted anyway. Putting them on the tree meant periodically stopping and unthreading knots that had somehow mysteriously tied themselves while lying hidden in a dark tote for nine months.

Pre-lit trees ended my fight with tangled lights. When the tree is erected, the job is done. No more untangling or wondering how the knots got there in the first place.

The writer of Hebrews identified tangles too but ones more devastating than snarled lights. Let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us (Hebrews 12:1).

God’s forgiveness untangled my initial knots, but that doesn’t mean I’m free from future self-inflicted twists. 

Paul gives a list of common entangling problems: quarreling, jealousy, angry outbursts, selfishness, backstabbing, gossip, conceit and simply misbehaving (I Corinthians 12: 20). I’ve been wound up by all of these at one time or another and known a host of others who’ve been knotted with me.

Fortunately, I don’t have to stay in knots or be tied down by any of these sins. By recognizing my weaknesses and praying for God’s strength, I can throw off everything that hinders me.

And you can too. So give your tangles to God and let him straighten them out.

Merciful Jesus, remind us to throw off what hinders and entangles us and run the race!

Read about Martin and his books on the Lead Writers' page.

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