Last week I shared an image on my social media sites that really spoke to me. It's kind of silly really. It is just my dragon puppet pattern, but before all of his pieces are sewn together.
I looked at him and thought this is so much like us. We are all constant works in progress, and we are at the mercy of those we allow to help assemble us.
The thing is, we all have strings. We are constantly growing, constantly changing, and hopefully constantly learning. But God tells us to be mindful of those we allow to shape us and our lives.
Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.
There are many verses much like this sprinkled throughout Proverbs, warning us of the company we keep. We are taught to be wise and discerning when it comes to choosing our companions, and with good reason.
Those we allow to help us through all of life's changes, those we allow to aid us on this ever changing journey; they have access to our strings. They hold power in our assembly. When I create an item, such as the puppet above, I do so with great care. I want it to be beautiful and creative, and well loved by someone who appreciates its uniqueness. I want each stitch made well, each piece sewn in securely and evenly. I want to be sure it won't fall apart with one tug. I want it to be sturdy and strong for great, creative adventures. We should all have people in our corners, taking such great care of our strings.
But unlike this puppet, we as adults, have a choice as to who we allow in that corner. God has given us the wisdom needed for being discerning about our companionship.
Do you remember the story of of Pinocchio? One thing that always stood out to me, was that when his strings were removed, he made poor choices. He was given a freedom he had never known before. He didn't realize the great care with which his puppet master treated him.
We are not puppets. God did not design us to be controlled by strings. He created us with freedom in mind; the freedom to choose Him, or not; the freedom to choose wise friends, or not; the freedom to make wise choices...or not. Although we are not puppets in this way, we do have strings, and the choices we make determine how we allow those strings to be controlled. We are in need of assembly, of growth, and if we make Christ the keeper of our strings, the head of our work in progress, He will give us the wisdom to surround ourselves with those who will build us up, in Him. He will not leave us alone to try to piece things together ourselves.
This morning, I got up much earlier than the kids, as I do every Monday morning, so that I may meet with God, pray, read His word, and seek His guidance in what I should say today. I felt the entire hour was wasted. By the time the kids began coming downstairs, I had nothing of importance written down. The chaos of a Monday morning took over. The youngest wet the bed, and she has a headache and fever; symptoms of what had turned into the flu for my son last week. I rushed to get her bed cleaned, do my oldest daughter's hair, and get the older three ready to meet the bus. After they left, I made my youngest more comfortable, got her Gatorade, gave her some Tylenol, and wrapped her in blankets to watch her favorite show.
With PJ Masks on in the background, my Bible app yet again ready on my phone, and my Bible at my fingertips, I sat down again to deliver a message...a message of...what exactly? I felt like a such a fraud, sitting here trying to fake my way through a positive, encouraging message, when I haven't felt at all positive or encouraged lately. I have been absorbing a lot of sadness recently, from the repetitiveness of life's hamster wheel, to illnesses and diagnoses of aquaintances, friends, and family, to tragic deaths. I have felt the heaviness of it all deeply, and with that, a heavy silence from God. Ironically, as I sat here worrying about what I would write, and the truth of all of this occurred to me, I felt a stirring from God in the silence. Tell them that.
Really, God? I'm supposed to sit here and tell them how I have nothing to say?
And then He encouraged me with this scripture.
I do not believe that Jesus only meant that while He was physically walking the earth. He said, while I am in the world, and He is in the world. He is in us. I know He is in me, and while I have been struggling in darkness and silence, I had forgotten that. As long as that light is within us, He still walks this earth. As long as that light is within me, it cannot be silenced.
So I write today, to share with you the realness of feeling that darkness and silence surround you. I write today to remind you that the greatest light of this world lives within you. And I write today, because the devil told me I had nothing of value to share, and God called him a liar.
As a wife, mom of 4, and business owner, finding time to spend in the Word, can be difficult, so I get it! Come join me each Monday for a simple message of hope, faith, and encouragement amidst some honest mommy moments.
Want the Monday Message sent to your inbox each week? Sign up here!