Untangling My Mess

One hot summer day, my friend's Dad grabbed his fishing pole and called out to his kids, "Okay everybody, get your poles and get in the boat."

Among giggles and silly antics echoing through the lake, all five kids climbed in the small motor boat. It rocked and swayed while all settled in their seats, fishing poles in hand.

Dad glanced at their excited faces. "When we're out a bit farther, all of you cast your poles out. Got that?"

As the boat came to a stop, everyone swung back, then forward. In seconds, all kids had the lines wrapped around necks, arms and each other's strings. In a tangled mess, they stared at each other.

"Silly kids, what are you doing?" Dad shook his head. "You need to know the direction before you throw your lines out."

Isn't that the way of the world? Embarking on the fast motor boat, we rush out into the waters. The heart filled with expectations to catch the best--a little peace, security, freedom, and even fun. Instead, while riding the waves of life, we oftentimes find disappointment, uncertainty and fear. Before we know it, we all stare at each other, tangled in a mighty muddle.

What went wrong? We missed something--the direction, the place, or the timing. The world didn't bring solutions, friends weren't able to help, and family members have their own problems to deal with. So, we turn to our own wisdom, but no luck; it drowned in the undercurrent of negative emotions.

As a result, days are rough and nights are often unbearable. And right when frustration is about to come out in a loud scream, we dab sweat from the forehead and pause. We stop long enough to hear the instruction of all instructions. The call that will turn it all around and bring freedom from the crazy chaos:

"Cast all your anxiety on him [Jesus] because he cares for you." (1 Peter 5:7)

When I rode the boat of grief after our youngest son was tragically killed, tangled in sorrow, I cried out to God. One by one, he untangled the clutter of emotions and took each ounce of heartache as I purposefully cast them to Him.

With eyes fixed on the direction Jesus points—to Him, His arms, and His love, pure and abundant, all changes. Let me give you a gentle nudge--don't hold back. Cast them all to the Lord because He does care, does provide, does protect, and has the answers we fish for.

Maybe you're in that boat right now, and while searching for answers, a storm broke loose. Thunder claps above, and the skies have turned black on you. I'd say that's the perfect time, the exact moment to cast those burdens out to Him. No tangling of lines, no confusion or mess--only peace, lasting and certain.

And when night comes, go ahead, fluff your pillow, get comfortable, for sleep will come back when you "Cast your cares on the Lord knowing He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall. (Psalm 55:22)

Once you choose to cast it all to Him, the scenery changes. Can you see blue skies between the clouds? Can you almost hear His whisper? He's smiling, outstretching His arms to receive your heartache, catch your fear, soothe those anxious moments, and calm the tremor that rattles your soul.

Janet Perez Eckles jeckles@cfl.rr.com http://www.janetperezeckles.com

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