“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses,
let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles,
and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.”
Hebrews 12:1, NIV.
Wire hangers, hair, chain necklaces, thread. Have you ever tried to separate wire hangers that have gotten all tangled up on the rod in a closet? Maybe you have reached into your jewelry box, intending to wear your favorite necklace, only to find it entangled beyond a quick fix. Or, perhaps you spent the day on the windy beach and now your hair is a mess of tangled knots. These examples are, but a few of the many times my patience gets tested in trying to undo jumbled messes.
Sin is a lot like all things prone to tangle; we don’t realize how deceptive it is until finding ourselves deep in its grasp, and then we wonder how we got there. If we’re totally honest, discovering the root of the problem is not so much a mystery.
I love to quilt. To learn and grow more proficient in the skill, I seek instruction from the experts by either taking a class or reading books on quilting. It is foolish to think even with sound teaching that I won’t make mistakes. The key, however, is to recognize the error sooner than later and fix it; to do this means checking the stitches, from time to time. A thorough examination requires not only looking at the top of the work that is visible but also taking a look underneath. So often, when I’ve skipped this process and get to what I think is the end of the project, I see in frustration, the mangled thread that now needs removing.
The Bible is God’s book of instructions on how to live and avoid the pitfalls of sin. To believe we won’t err at times is not only prideful, but it is also dangerous. But, being familiar with “The Plan” as set out for us by Jesus, restoration is possible. Keeping a check will help us lessen the pain of recovery and get us back on track once again.