• Barb Lownsbury

Yanking My Chain


When I look at this picture, I feel like that kid in the harness sometimes! God is holding my hand, leading me through this beautiful but potentially dangerous place called life. I see something off in the distance that looks soooo inviting! I want to go run and grab a hold of it, but God knows it will hurt me. I feel Him trying to pull me back in those circumstances, but I’m like a strong-willed child determined to run away and touch the fire. My frustration wells at those tethers that keep me from what I want!

But here’s the catch – my harness is removable. I know how to take it off. I always have the choice to remove it because God treats me respectfully as an adult, even when I don’t act like one, even when I choose wrong. So, all too often, I remove my harness and run headlong into a world full of hurt. Ever been there?

I have a couple of choices when the fire has burned me yet again. I can choose to learn to like pain, get addicted to the dysfunction, and keep getting burned over and over and over again. I admit there are times in my life where I have done just that. I stubbornly stick out my chin and insist on doing the same hurtful routines, then actually wonder why I’m so unhappy and unfulfilled.

I’ve learned the hard way my second choice is so much better – trust God! In truth, His path doesn’t always make sense to me. I don’t always get why we need to head in a particular direction or why He’s nudging me to not go toward something I think looks great! In those moments, I have to remind myself He is the designer of my journey. He does know, even when I don’t. Where He guides me always leads to growth and joy.

You’d think by now I’d know better than to strain against Him! Certainly I have grown. Yet trusting God is still the single most challenging aspect of my walk with Him. I like to be in control, to be in the know. Whether it’s my finances, my children, my dating life, my career, my friends – you name it! My instinct is to run full steam ahead, never stopping once to consult my guide.

Yet that’s what I love most about God. He isn’t afraid of my mistakes. My mess doesn’t push Him away or change His love for me. Ever. Now I may face consequences from my actions, some of which are permanent, but even then God is right there with me, helping me to learn, to grow and to travel a little more capably each time. As He and I continue on what is our own unique journey together, I learn to trust His guidance and surrender a little bit more with each step.

For Further Thought: Proverbs 3:8 says, “If you depend on Him, your body and mind will be free from the strain of a sinful life, will experience healing and health, and will be strengthened at their core.” What are some ways you have been straining away from God? Think of one action you can take this week, mentally or physically, to help you move toward Him again.

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