When He was alone with His Disciples, Jesus went over everything, sorting out the tangles, untying the knots. Mark 4:34 (The Message)
The crowds and the Disciples were amazed as Jesus taught (Matt. 7:29; 13:54). He was “never without a story” and used them to help His audience gain a greater understanding of God and to resolve real-life problems. Mark describes this as “sorting out tangles” and “untying knots.” We conclude this month’s series, “Returning to our First Love”, with an examination of the benefit of listening to God’s voice through His Word to sort out the tangles and knots in our life.
Learning to Sort out My Tangles
Have you ever been faced with a knotted shoe lace or tangled necklace? It can be frustrating trying to find the biggest knot that will results in the ultimate resolution to your problem. Knots can impede the full use and benefit of a person’s possession or ability i.e., knots in a tie or tangled chords of a wind chime.
How did you learn to untangle and untie knots? While I can’t remember my “first knot” or most “frustrating tangle”, I do recall that if I had problems with either of these, my mother was always available to help me based on two things: First, I had to realize my limitations—I was unable to resolve this challenge on my own and secondly, trust that she was both available and able to help me with my problem.
Life is Full of Knots and Tangles
Our world is full of knots and tangles—the challenges of life that appear to us as “insurmountable messes” we seem unable to resolve. Life cycle knots—work, family, and relationships. Personal tangles—financial challenges, health problems, dying and death. Societal snarls—turmoil, instability, and uncertainty. Some knots and tangles are the natural result of living in a fallen world; others may be of our own creation. What is the answer to these kinks and twists of living? How are we to manage these real situations in our lives? It’s all in the Word.
It’s In the Word
There’s an old gospel song entitled, It’s All in the Word that retorts: “The answer to your problems, if you haven’t heard…it’s all in the Word.” The Psalmist put it more eloquently in saying that God’s Word is a “lamp to our feet and a light to our path”—in close proximity to keep us from stumbling yet broad and sufficient to protect us from potential danger and pitfalls (Ps. 119:105). Psalm 19:7-11 speaks to the great worth of God’s Word. “Warning and reward” are key benefits in embracing God’s Word.
The world offers futile solutions to life’s knots and tangles. It suggests resolution through substances (alcohol, drugs, and food), through systems (affiliations, power, and influence) and through stuff (materialism and riches) (1 John 2:15-17). These answers are temporary and subject to change (2 Cor. 4:18). However, God’s Word is eternal and provides needed insight into His nature and the realities of life, inviting believers to trust, peace, and contentment (Ps. 37:1-6, 23-27).
For those who are willing to listen to Jesus’ voice, there are many promises and privileges (John 10:27). As believers stay connected to God through His Word and the Holy Spirit, we have access to wisdom and knowledge so desperately needed to navigate these perilous times (Eph. 1: 8). God may not choose to always remove the knots and tangles in the believer’s life. They may be needed to mature and strengthen those who chooses to be “trained” by them (Hebrews 12:11). However, believers can depend on God to always be available and ready to help us “find the big loops” (John 16:33).
Also read: In God We Trust
SELAH: Jesus is ready to help you with the tangles and knots of your life. What are the things that you’ve been unable to resolve? Draw near to Him is willing and able to help you.