Knotted Up: Your Best Move When Life’s Got You Tangled

This article was written by Brandi Hawthorne and published by Team Jesus Magazine


My six-year-old daughter loves helping out. She’s quite the big helper. And, although I could get the job done in half the time it takes for her to do it, or for she and I to do it together, I allow her to help because I’m training her to be capable of caring for herself.

This particular day, I was in the process of making lunch when she bounced into the kitchen acting like she was starving. She lit up when she saw I was preparing lunch. “Mom, I can make my own sandwich,” she said. I lifted my eyes unto the hills from which comes my help (also known as rolling them), and breathed in a fix your attitude, Brandi breath. I then put on my best smile and turned around with an enthusiastic “You got it!” She flashed me a big, toothless grin and thumbs up. Gotta love a child’s heart.

A minute or so passes, and I can hear her huffing and puffing. In that knowing, motherly tone I ask, “You need any help?”

“I. Can’t. Get. This. Bag. Open.”

“Bring it here.”

What was once a nice, neat knot was now so tight that it looked like one little ball.

Sidebar: Why wasn’t the bag closed with a tie, you ask? One word. Husband. He opens the bag, takes out his bread, forgets where he put the tie just 10 seconds ago, and proceeds to tie a knot. These are facts you must know before marriage, ladies. Watch him make a sandwich before saying, “I do.” Just saying.

Back to this impenetrable knot…

“Sweetie Pieeeee,” I say while scratching the protruding vein in my forehead, “if there’s a knot, bring it to me so I can help you.”

After some laser focus, I managed to undo the knot, turning her frown into a huge smile. You haven’t seen a smile as big as my daughter’s, I promise. As she danced back over to her sandwich-making station, I laugh to myself as I often do when I feel God looking at me with a smirk and one eyebrow raised, asking my heart if I had learned the lesson.

I had.

Become as Little Children

My daughter’s struggle with that knot was not unlike my daily struggles. Her huffing and puffing was an undeniable reflection of her mom’s deep sighs and murmuring. The knot represented all the obstacles I thought I was strong and wise enough to face on my own. The impenetrable knot was a glaring reminder of all the messes I had made because I chose to struggle in my own strength versus consult God.

Sure, God can be my Mr. Fix It, cleaning up after my mistakes, if that’s what I want Him to be. But, He’d much rather be my Consultant, my Guide, advising me before the mistake is made. Yes, God will use all things for our benefit, even our biggest mistakes. But, wouldn’t you rather avoid the mistake altogether?

Can you imagine the time we’d save if we acknowledged God in all things? Things that look easy or right in the moment, don’t always turn out to be that way down the road. Proverbs 3: 5-6 says,

Trust the Lord completely, and don’t depend on your own knowledge.  With every step you take, think about what He wants, and He will help you go the right way.

Before you lift your foot and plant it again – versus after you take the step and realize it was the wrong one – think about what God wants.

Before you buy that dream house, think about what God wants. Before you relocate, think about what God wants. Before you have that conversation, think about what God wants and He will help you go the right way.

The next time my daughter helped me prepare lunch, the bread bag was indeed tied with a knot (my husband tries not to disappoint). But, this time, she saw the knot and headed over to Mom. My heart swelled with pride, and this time I was the one looking up with a smirk and raised eyebrow because I know His heart was even bigger than mine. I showed her how to carefully untie the knot and she did it beautifully.

Just as my sweet girl applied what I taught her only days before, I pray that you and I will quickly apply God’s principles to all the knots in our lives.

So, what’s the play call?

Do you have a decision to make that you’ve forgotten to seek God about? Stop what you’re doing and ask Him what He thinks. And, obey His answer. It may not feel good at the moment, but trust that He can see further down the road than you can. He has better plans for your life than you could ever imagine, and will never lead you in the wrong direction.

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