Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Messy Braid.

Last night I was praying and I felt like the word "distracted" was being highlighted in my mind.
It wasn't "distracted" in the sense that my mind kept wandering during my prayer time, but it was the word "distracted" in the past tense form.
I've been "distracted" is what came to mind.
I texted a friend far too late, asking her for some input on this word in scripture, talked to my husband about it, and finally crashed for the night still pondering what exactly the Lord was trying to tell me.
This morning I woke up with the word still on my mind.
 I was getting my crew ready to leave the house and it was Addyson's turn to come to the bathroom and stand on her little pink step stool for me to do her hair.
I chose a single fishtail braid today.
Gathering the strands of her long hair, I began to move my hands from side to side beginning the braid. In about two seconds her little head jetted to the left yelling for Sawyer.
"Be still Addy, be still," I said gently.
She sat still for another few strands and then her little head jetted to the right reaching for something. I clung to the braid and reminded her that I was trying to make this braid look pretty, and she needed to hold still in order for me to do so.
"I know mom, I know," she sighed.
It was in that very instant that I felt the Lord made that word "distracted" come to life.
I looked at her hair and this braid I was creating and it made me think of our Creator who holds every strand of our life in his hands. He has a magnificent design in place. He's the grand weaver. But how often I am like my 5 year old daughter, constantly turning from side to side becoming distracted with everyday life.
The braid gets messy.
The Lord is constantly pressing on my heart to be still. In the quiet is when I can truly hear Him.
“Be still, and know that I am God."
 Psalm 46:10
We make excuses.
I know I do.
Now the holidays are upon us, and it's one of the most distracting times of the year. The shopping lists are a mile long, there aren't enough weekends to get everything done.
This time of year is when we need to grab hold of these truths and not let go.
"Humble yourselves before the Lord and He will lift you up." James 4:10
Do our best to not let a day go by without our daily bread.
"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:5
Becoming distracted is what messes up the perfect braid, but the most amazing part is that as soon as I return to that place of resting my focus on the most important thing, I can see the magnificent braid start to take shape once again.
He does have a plan.
We don't know the complete path the Lord has for us, but we can rest in the promise that He knows the plans He has for us and it is not for destruction. He promises us that He works ALL THINGS for good for those that love him! ALL THINGS! Not some things, ALL THINGS.
"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28
"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11
We aren't promised to escape suffering, but we can rest in these truths and realize that being still and leaning on the Lord is truly what is going to make this messy braid that is our lives look beautiful in the end.
Sometimes I feel like we almost become content with the messy braid. Not realizing what God truly has in store for us.
“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” C.S. Lewis
I love this quote by C.S. Lewis. We get distracted and settle for mud pies all the time.
I am now closing out today and thanking God. Thanking Him for gently reminding me of my own tendency to become easily distracted.
My heart is eager to do His will, but that whole "being human" part definitely gets in the way sometimes.
I'm praying that in this busy season where being distracted is the social norm, that we will take the time to be still and realign as often as we can.
It's only to make the braid more beautiful.