When my little girl was around 6 years old she loved playing with VHS tapes [Do people even know what those are anymore?]. She would stack them and build all sorts of things with them. I guess you could say they were this poor single mom’s version of legos. Ha!
One day as I watched her building some new and exciting thing, an idea popped into my head. I got down on the floor with her and we built a “maze” of sorts out of the tapes. I then blindfolded her and told her to see if she could make it through the maze. Of course she could not complete it. She bumped into everything, destroyed the maze, and made a mess in the process.
Then I helped her “re-create” the maze, blindfolded her again, and this time I stood on top of the table. That is when I talked her through the maze one step at a time … telling her to take one step forward … two steps to the left … another step forward … and so on and so on.
When she successfully finished the maze I took off the blindfold and we had ourselves a little chat. I told her the maze was her life and that the blindfold was on her because in life we can’t see the future. We can’t see what lies ahead. If we try to walk through life on our own we will make mistakes, bump into problems, and make a mess of things. But if we let God talk us through our maze of life … if we only take steps when he tells us to … then we will reach the finish line of heaven with far less mess.
I tell you this story because recently God brought that image to my mind. And as I relived that moment I heard Him say to my heart, “Tammie, you’ve taken your eyes off me.”
Life is full of trials. We all have them and I am no exception. I’ve been in a trial for some time now and frankly, I’m very tired. Tired spiritually and emotionally. So, as hindsight is always 20/20, it seems I recently had reached a point where I stopped listening to God’s lead in this issue and was pushing through in my own way. I didn’t like what God was asking of me and so I resisted. I fought Him. The result??
“Cursed is the one who trusts in man,
who depends on flesh for his strength
and whose heart turns away from the LORD.
He will be like a bush in the wastelands;
he will not see prosperity when it comes.
He will dwell in the parched places of the desert,
in a salt land where no one lives.” (Jeremiah 17:5-6)
I was parched living in a desert. I was hurting. Irritable. Full of fear, worry, anxiety, and lonliness. I actually felt like a fish out of water … all flapping around and wanting despirately to find peace.
But then God spoke to me, to the pain in my heart, and I confessed my selfish attitude. The result?
“But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
whose confidence is in him.
He will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit.” (Jeremiah 17:7-8)
Now I am calm again and focused. I once again have peace. I am not afraid. The same trial still exists. The same heartache is there to deal with. But I am not overcome by it. Now I feel like a flopping flapping fish that was put back into the water.
All this is to set the stage for today’s Tune in
Tuesday, er, Wednesday [yesterday was a very busy day friends]. When I heard today’s song on the radio last week it brought the past few weeks events home to my heart. The lyrics summed up what I had been feeling.
Why are you striving these days
Why are you trying to earn grace
Why are you crying
Let me lift up your face
Just don’t turn away
Why are you looking for love
Why are you still searching as if I’m not enough
To where will you go child
Tell me – where will you run
To where will you run
And I’ll be by your side
Wherever you fall
In the dead of night
Whenever you call
And please don’t fight
These hands that are holding you
My hands are holding you
Look at these hands and my side
They swallowed the grave on that night
When I drank the world’s sin
So I could carry you in
And give you life
I want to give you life
Cause I, I love you
I want you to know
That I, I love you
I’ll never let you go
Tenth Avenue North, “By Your Side”