by Sally Matheny
problems have forced me to look at life from a different angle. For two
weeks, we dealt with water issues from burst pipes in our attic. Every time we
thought the problem was fixed, another leak would appear. To top it off, the glue
for the CPVC pipe fell on my husband’s favorite flashlight. He liked the light because
it could rotate 180 degrees. Now it only shines at a rigid, 90 degrees. He was not happy.
|Problems from a Different Angle|
Neither was I. Due to the water damage, we had clothes and boxes piled in every place except where they belonged. Throughout the first week of chaos, although greatly fatigued, I still managed smiles and laughter. By the second week, my exhaustion accompanied snarls and foaming at the mouth. Clouds of discouragement were accumulating so I talked to God. That’s when He impressed upon me I needed to look at the problem from a different angle.
“Lord, what are you teaching me here? Why all the delays?”
There’s more work to do.
“Yes, yes, Lord, I know. We’ve got to buy more couplings and pipe. Flooring needs to be replaced.”
There’s more work to do.
"What do You mean? Do I need to go through all the closet stuff again? I’ve purged and donated three boxes already but, okay.”
Rummaging through my closet’s contents, I pulled out my scruffy, gray bedroom slippers. Years of wear had made them quite comfy. Even my children would slip them on and wear them around the house—which is probably how they became stained. They were beyond help. Reluctantly, I tossed them in the trash.
There’s one dress I’d held onto for three years and had only worn once. It looked elegant on the store mannequin. My usual frugal shopping took a back seat as I splurged a little and bought the dress. However, it didn’t look as chic on me as it did on the size 2 mannequin. Even so, I held onto it for years, thinking that one day it might. It never did. Years later I still had a hard time parting with something I had invested so much money and time—time just waiting for things to change. With a huff, I packed it in a box to give away.
After purging through more clothes, I noticed the box containing all my handbags. I’m not really into shoes and handbags. The basics are fine with me. However, a long time ago, someone gave me a huge crocodile handbag. Its swamp green color appealed to me and I carried it around for a while. But it was just too big. I would dig and dig, never finding what I was looking for inside. Plus, it weighed a ton—even when it was empty! The crocodile purse was set free to find a new home elsewhere.
Glancing around the room, I noticed I had weeded out quite a bit more stuff. That’s when I realized what God might have been telling me.
|Children Absorbing Our Stains of Sin|
Photo by flickr
Maybe God was impressing upon me to let go of old habits to which I’d become accustomed. I had grown comfortable scuffing around in subtle bitterness or in an attitude of complacency. Even worse, my children were trying on my attitudes and absorbing my stains of sin.
How many times have I ignored the Holy Spirit’s prodding that something was not right? Grudgingly, I held onto ideas of the way I thought things should be. Investing so much time waiting for things to change to suit my tastes, I was disappointed when they did not. Never considering perhaps the change should occur in me.
How many heavy burdens have I tried to carry alone? Sometimes unnecessarily taking on ones that were not meant for me. Often looking for help, but not finding it, because I was looking in the wrong places. I should have known to stick with the basics—the loving Truth of God.
Only God can transform the heart but I have to do my part and allow Him to do the work. He desperately wants to clear out all the scum and stains in my life. He gently whispers, “This is not My plan for you. Give me all your expectations. Hand over everything, so there will be room for My plan, which is perfectly beautiful for you.”
Wow. God’s love is powerful. It’s better than hiring a housekeeper, a closet designer, and a garbage collector. He offers his cleansing love freely for those who ask. He is the only one who has the best angle—a 360.
Got a problem? Try looking at it from a from a different angle. If that doesn’t help, just trust the Master. His love encircles you and He’s got you covered.
|Trust God's Angle|
Photo by flickr