I flung open the dryer door, expecting to scoop out the usual assortment of shirts and pants, socks and various unmentionables. It’s a common, mundane task I do several times a week, but this day it left me exasperated and wondering…
WHAT IN THE WORLD???!!!
What I withdrew was a lump…a lump of laundry. The single pieces I’d tossed into the dryer came out as a group hug— bound together by one pink thread.
Somehow, this micro-skinny loose thread had made it into the dryer where it went downright wild. Like Kudzu choking a garden, it had created a tangled mass of multiple fabrics, wrapping itself around buttons, attaching to zippers, and entwining shirtsleeves and pants legs into colorful French twists.
I practically needed a weed eater to pry everything apart. And as I did, several buttons went MIA and the slit in my favorite jumper ripped from mid-calf to waist high.
Sigh. Why can’t anything be simple?
God speaks to me in the strangest places—like the laundry room. As I freed a pair of Spongebob boxers from the clutches of a dishtowel, I was struck with an analogy. That pink thread was a lot like the trouble-causing issues that find their way into our hearts.
Anger. Bitterness. Jealousy. Fear. A flat-out bad attitude.
Once they’re in, they’re free to wreck havoc—weaving their way throughout every facet of our lives.
I Corinthians 12: 26 speaks of the many parts that form a body (the church). “If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.” (NIV)
How well the first part of that scripture applies to bad feelings!
When they wiggle and worm their way into our hearts, what happens? Bad feelings breed more bad feelings…and before we know it, everyone and everything in our lives is bound up by that one negative thread. Frustration at work follows us home. Anger at one person is taken out on others. A bad experience leaves us bitter, then poisons good things that come later. With our perceptions colored and our emotions misplaced, relationships suffer, performance is marred, and hope fades into the night.
Such things are emotional strongholds. Thankfully, we have a God who is bigger than any thread—stronghold— that clumps-up our lives. Scriptures, like Romans 5:2 and Hebrews 4:16, assures us that we have access to His throne, where we can bring any care that weighs on our hearts. He’s equipped to help us, as promised by one of my favorite verses:
“I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything too hard for me?” ( Jeremiah 32: 26, NIV)
Freedom from our emotional strongholds is possible…but first, we must relinquish them to the Lord. Read Philippians 4, then rejoice—especially over verse seven:
“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (NIV)
That pink thread in my laundry really was like kudzu in the garden. And kudzu is destructive, its vines strangling my flowers…just like emotional strongholds are the vines that strangle my heart.
Jesus said, “I am the true vine, and my father is the gardener.” (John 15:1.)
The only vine weaving through us should be Jesus, who will entwine all our parts in harmony, allow us to flourish and connect us to God.