I’ve spent some of my last several blogs talking about emotional and spiritual baggage and the roots that tie us to that baggage. God has been faithful to uproot the roots and clean out my emotional and spiritual suitcases if you will. Talk about cobwebs and moths! I had some very hurt places too!
The Lord showed me that not only are there roots and baggage, those roots and baggage are tangled and overlapping. No wonder we can be messes underneath a fake smile. I faked life with a smile for a time so I know that does not work. We have the baggage, the roots of the baggage, the bramble, the dead leaves, the distractions that come with messy bramble and dead foliage in our heart’s tree, and to top it all off – we can’t even see this for ourselves most of the time. If we do, we use addiction and other people or things to keep our minds off of our tangled, emotional and spiritual mess. I know I used people, things, distractions, food, activities, and even caffeine for many years so I would not have to deal with my tangled heart. But God!
Did you note in that last sentence I mentioned caffeine followed by “but God?” I’m going somewhere with this, bear with me. I had never made the connection to my need for caffeine in my life up until yesterday. I was driving back to work and I saw the connection clearly. I have never been able to decrease the amount of caffeine I drink because 1) it is addictive, 2) it helped me to feel good and “upped” me, and 3) it had been a part of my tangled heart and all of its distractions. I tried last year to give it up cold turkey. That was as they say a “no go.” Why? First, I was trying to do it in my own strength, not Jesus doing it in me. Second, it was part of the bramble and mess in my heart – another one of my distractions. Just recently, as in the last two weeks, I have noticed not wanting much caffeine at all. I drink one caffeinated drink a day now – a small one, in the mornings, if I want one at all. That is much less than I was drinking a month ago! There was a time that caffeine was all I was drinking during the day. I can tell you there is no way that was good for my body!
I have not said all of this to say, “don’t drink caffeine.” I have told you this little anecdote because it was tied to something bigger going on inside of me – inside my heart. When we are tangled up inside, even seemingly minor things can be in control of our lives. Caffeine, among other things, was in control of my life for a long time. I was blind to this fact. Jesus shined his wonderful light into my heart! He not only cleared out the tangled mess of bramble, dead things, distractions, pain, cobwebs, and moths, he took my obvious addictions to food and caffeine away too! Caffeine or food may not be the issue for you. What is controlling your life that you don’t know about? What seemingly minor thing is really a major thing for you? Are you ready to let it go? Are you willing to let Jesus clean up your tangled, messy heart so you can be whole again? Do you want to be free?
I could not do any of this on my own - I’ve tried on my own and with the wrong motives. Nothing I did lasted past a year. Another distraction would come along tied to a pain or a root I’d not dealt with, and I’d be back to square one again. Do you see how this works? Do you want it to stop this cycle in your life? Are you tired of the merry-go-round?
I can promise you one thing – if you will let Jesus clean out your heart and help you deal with your pain - distractions and the things that have trapped you over and over again will not be able to do so anymore. They lose their power when their root is exposed and pulled. They lose their power when Jesus replaces them with His love. You don’t have to do anything but ask and then receive. You don’t have to work for it or be good enough – He did all the work on the cross. Heart work won’t be easy but it will be worth it! I can attest to that in my own life!
Our tangled mess can become our testimony! All we have to do is let Jesus in, He already knows what’s in our hearts anyway. He is not afraid of us or our pain. He can handle it, we can’t! Let Him in and be free!
Psalm 139:1-5, NIRV: Lord, you have seen what is in my heart. You know all about me. You know when I sit down and when I get up. You know what I'm thinking even though you are far away. You know when I go out to work and when I come back home. You know exactly how I live. Lord, even before I speak a word, you know all about it. You are all around me. You are behind me and in front of me. You hold me in your power. (and he’s not mad at you!)