Give him the pieces

What or Who is it that causes division among you right now? Maybe it is more of a 'what' than a 'who' that is creating the division between you and something you need in your life. Perhaps you are struggling with an addiction to something that keeps coming between you and true liberty from the hold that thing has on you. Yes, addiction is really the worst kind of enslavement one can imagine - being so emotionally or psychologically attached to the 'thing' that any attempt to break free causes so much trauma in your life that you just cannot imagine being free. But...God is above that addiction - he is stronger than the emotional or psychological pull that thing has in your life. Maybe the dividing force in your life right now is a 'who' - a tough relationship challenge between you and a coworker, a spouse that seems to no longer share your interests or values, or even a relative that doesn't understand some of your choices and now chooses to withdraw from relationship with you. Whatever the form of 'division' that is there, the message to us today is that we are to allow God to help us do away with these dividing forces - because we are to have 'agreement' in our lives. Agreement in our thought life and habits - but the type of agreement that aligns with the Word of God. Agreement in our relationships - not the type that says we will agree to disagree, but the genuine agreement that brings people together on the same page. Agreement in our actions - so our steps are toward the same goals.

My brothers and sisters, I urge you by the name of our Lord Jesus, the Anointed, to come together in agreement. Do not allow anything or anyone to create division among you. Instead, be restored, completely fastened together with one mind and shared judgment. (1 Corinthians 1:1)

Division requires restoration. I have an old hope chest that belonged to my mom. It is perhaps seventy to eighty years old and has been moved around a lot. That has made some of the 'seams' in the wood less than aligned. While the fine workmanship of this piece is stellar, the rough handling over the years has left it with some required restoration. In the very near future, I will undertake this task, as I am now beginning to understand how to do the restoration of these joints that will allow the alignment to come back. Restorative work is hard because it has to understand where the 'coming together' needs to occur. Maybe this is why we find it so hard to allow restoration to come in our lives in those areas where it is most needed. We just don't relish the 'hard work' it requires to bring back order and 'alignment' within our relationships. The moment we choose to allow God access to our addiction, we are opening ourselves up to the discovery of just how we went down that pathway toward addiction in the first place. This can be uncomfortable, even a little unsettling to some of us. We learn where the psychological hold actually began and that might just get us a little unnerved in remembering that season in our lives, but it is often one of the most liberating steps we take in breaking free. In the connection between the 'why' of our addiction with the 'who' or 'what' of the addiction, we find there is somehow a way to see light on the other side of the hold it has had on us.

Come together in agreement. This indicates the parts must be sorted out and then brought together in such a way so as to show the 'agreement' of the parts. I recently decided to begin doing some jigsaw puzzles again and let me tell you - you have to sort out in order to bring together! You cannot just take a jumble of pieces and start lining them up. You must find the edge pieces - so you understand the framework. You must then sort by the various 'recognizable' features of the puzzle, such as sky or grass pieces. In doing all this 'sorting', you are preparing to bring together - to find 'agreement' with the pieces. In much the same way, we find the things that have caused division in our lives need to be sorted out, so we get back to the right framework and then we begin to see how the things that we can do quickly to bring agreement can come into play. As we get these two things done, we are left with a little hard 'mixture' of pieces that require a lot of sorting, trial and error in 'fitting them together' so there is agreement of the pieces, and then in the end, we will see the result of all that work. While there is much that brings division, there is nothing beyond God's ability to bring 'agreement' back! Just sayin!

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