18 Jul Tug-of-War
As a child, I did not believe in fairy tales. Poverty will do that to a youngin’. You become aware at a tender age that asking for a candy bar at the store or keeping a wish list for Santa is pointless. I really did try to conceive that childlike wonder, though. I remember knowing that Santa was not real by age 4. My mother did not believe in getting us mixed up in all of the make-believe. I get it. As parents, my husband and I differed on this topic. Jason wanted my daughter to believe in Santa. I, on the other hand, did not get the point of lying to children and then dealing with the heartbreak when they learned of the deception. Ultimately, I won that round. As I mentioned, I did try to get involved in this world of joyous hope and happiness, where magic was at the doorstep, waiting to be let in and fill all the children with inner goodness. Well, reality knocked on my door, instead. I was 7 years old. I had gone to bed so excited. When I woke up, I looked under my pillow for money and found my tooth, instead. I was heartbroken. I knew Santa and the Easter bunny were not real, but I so desperately wanted to believe the Tooth Fairy was the real thing…
“Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.”
Proverbs 13:12, NIV
Hope really is something, I tell ya. On one hand, you have a young, broken girl living her life by getting through life’s obstacles, believing that her only way out of the cards handed to her is with metaphorically raised fists and a drive to run ahead; all the while doing the religious song and dance. On the other hand, you have a very patient, loving and compassionate Person. His arms have been stretched out for a long while. The aura of His presence is inviting and full of peace. And His heart is pure with longing for what is His.
It can almost feel like a tug-of-war game. Your life finally clashes with the One who can restore that broken hope, lost through the injuries of life. And when your will is finally close to being surrendered to the great Healer, your experiences and wounds remind you that there is no Tooth Fairy, giving you back “control” over the rope and pulling back, away from your source of TRUE life and redemption.
This tug-of-war life is not true living. You have the choice of letting go of that rope. I find myself grabbing at it occasionally. It’s not worth it. Life will throw all kinds of harm your way. You will find out about those who have tried to tarnish your integrity and name. Or you will learn that you’ve been betrayed by those closest to you. You may even be deceived and put up strong walls of defense as a result. When the rope is dropped and the One at the end of the other side is given the opening to bring you in, that healing will come.
Life. Restoration. Joy. Peace. Revival. You don’t experience this as a result of a highly emotional church service, nor a cliche-filled sermon. This begins to overwhelm your life once you let go of that rope and let Him…it is through this personal relationship that allows for you to become a tree of life, having a longing fulfilled only by the One who can do it.
But, you have to let go of that rope…