I don’t think it is any secret how much I enjoyed Disney’s new animated fairytale “Tangled”. I don’t really like animated films very much, so I was quite surprised that I enjoyed it so much. It is the story of Rapunzel and her escape from the tower. The story is, delightfully, an old-fashioned fairytale…with a prince, a princess, a villain, and a few other unusual characters throw in.
But I got to thinking. How many times have I looked at a situation in my life and felt like it was a tangled mess? Have you ever tried to untangle a necklace? I think it is one of the most frustrating tasks there is…especially if there is more than one necklace. It often feels impossible. Sometimes you have to walk away and return later to try again. Sometimes my life feels like that. Or at least a certain situation in my life. I have one like that right now. I look at it from all different angles. I go in circles as I think about it. I feel hopeless about it. I see that there is no way possible for me to untangle the string. It has been going on for months and does not seem to be getting better…I think it may even be getting worse. What is God doing here? And that is when I realize a couple of things. 1) I have absolutely no control whatsoever. 2) God has complete and total control. 3) I have a choice to make…not to trust and to spend my time worrying and fretting over something I can’t change or to trust and hand it over to the Lord (maybe over and over again…but still make the conscious decision to give it to the Lord).
I remember another time…many, many years ago…when I learned this lesson in an almost miraculous way. We had an employee who we felt was almost irreplaceable. He was a talented and honest guy who did an important and difficult job within the company. One day he shared with us his decision to move in a different direction. He felt the Lord moving him on to a different career. We understood his desire to move on. But I felt instant panic. What were we going to do?! Surely, we were going to have a difficult time replacing him. I don’t remember many details, but I do remember that within a few short weeks, my husband ran into a former employee who was familiar with the job that need to be filled. He was also very talented and gifted in this area. AND he was looking for a job. Coincidence? I think not. God knew we needed him. And he provided this man at just the right time to fill a big hole within our company. What looked like a problem that could not be solved…a maze that had no way out…a tangled mess…had suddenly become untangled. And to no credit of ours. It was all God.
You see, when we get ourselves out of a mess, then who gets the glory? WE do. Look how smart we are! Look how amazing and gifted we are! Look how clever we were to think of that solution! But when it is so tangled that there is no way that we could untangle it ourselves…and then we see God work in amazing, unbelievable ways…well, at that point, we have no choice but to give God all of the glory.
Sure…I know what you are thinking…some things never seem to get resolved. Some things never get untangled. That is true. But God still uses those things to change us. And you will find that even though the situation hasn’t changed, YOU have changed. Maybe you are experiencing a deeper faith. A stronger trust in God’s plan. Maybe you have released bitterness or an unforgiving heart. Perhaps you have grown to love God’s Word in a way that wouldn’t have been possible without that tangled trial in your life.
I don’t know what you are facing today. And you don’t know what I am facing today. But we know Who holds the answers. We know Who can choose to untangle the complicated confusion and hopelessness we find ourselves in…or choose to grow us and deepen our faith while enduring the tangled trial.
Let’s give God the glory for the Holy Spirit is at work in the lives of believers in remarkable ways. Let’s not forget just how powerful and amazing our God is! No tangled life is too much for Him.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct[a] your paths.