Many years ago, my little girl struggled to untangle her favorite necklace. Her tiny 6 year old fingers couldn’t undo the knot in the chain. I said, “Give mommy your necklace and I will untangle it for you.” She said, “I want to do it myself!” She worked at it and did her best, but as hard as she tried she could not untangle the chain. After some time, she came to me and said, “Mommy can you help me?” I gladly took the necklace from her and used the tweezers to quickly untangle the tight knot as she watched. Minutes later she was happily wearing her necklace again.
As I worked on the necklace, I realized there were many times I had a tangle in my life that I struggled to undo in my own strength. Surely hard work and perseverance would get me what I needed! But there are times when God allows situations in my life that are beyond me. Rather than struggle and fret and get angry, I need to humble myself and give my tangle over to God. This is a far easier thing to say than to do, but this is what I have learned.
There is a difference between giving up and giving it to God. My daughter could have taken her tangled necklace and thrown it down in frustration. She would have lost the pleasure of wearing a favorite necklace and also the time we spent together as she watched me work. Giving my tangles over to God does not mean I stop working hard and doing my best. Giving things to God means I let go of my demand to have plans go my way. In time, God will bring beauty out of a mess.
God uses my humility to develop a relationship with Him. By coming to me, my daughter acknowledged her inability to do something for herself. That gave me the opportunity to show her what I could do for her. I have been blessed by God’s amazing answers in situations I thought were impossible. Thinking of it another way, I wonder how many blessings I’ve missed out on because I insisted on doing things my way and not getting anywhere. Humility increases my faith in God and deepens my relationship with Him. As a result, I have had encounters and opportunities I never would have experienced if I had maintained my stubborn desire to handle tangles my way.
As always, the best encouragement comes from God’s word. “He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.” (Proverbs 25:9) As a loving Father, God wants to strengthen my faith, but even more than that, He wants a dynamic relationship with me. When I give Him the tangles of my life, He teaches me to trust Him to do what He can with all that I cannot. And a trusting and loving relationship is even more beautiful than any untangled necklace.