A chill wind gusted around the garden, disturbing masses of soggy rain soaked leaves gathered in heaps under lifeless hedges. Grey clouds scudded across a drab sun starved sky, in perfect harmony with the dullness in her heart. Sadie shrugged drooping shoulders deeper into her thick winter coat and plodded forlornly back to the warmth of the kitchen. There was nothing she could do out there today. She felt like a frayed rope with the ends hanging loose, when all she wanted was a neatly plaited life, all the ends tied up securely.
Her Bible lay open on the table and she glanced once more at the words that had pierced her heart with the truth of her disobedience.
‘Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus’.
It was over a year since Daniel, her husband and soul mate, had died. The house was sold and she was bogged down in the quagmire of repairs and clearing out. The rope of her life was unravelling with every problem, that invariably led to another. Sleep seemed evasive every night.
Sadie loved the Lord with all her heart and her desire was to honour Him in everything she said and did.
But in her present situation it was proving to be a test of her faith alongside one of honouring Him. She knew her anxiety was the cause of the sleeplessness, yet the unfinished jobs were like a tangled coil in her mind.
Sadie had prayed, “Lord, help me to honour You even in the sale of this house. Help me to put in order those things that need to be dealt with. Help me to tie up all the loose ends so that I can leave, knowing I have left nothing undone.”
The Lord had taken her at her word and the difficulties had piled up like a heap of rubble. Unforeseen repairs had popped up like corks bobbing on water, but she had willingly dealt with every one. Until now, when an irrational fear of the unknown had tugged at the loose ends of her rationality and sent her spinning into indecision.
“Mum, I have seen you and dad come through every difficult situation, even dad’s cancer, with a strength of faith that has kept you at peace for all these years. What has happened that now you’re anxious about everything.?”
At first Sadie had felt angry. Her faith was still anchored in the Lord but she couldn’t deny the element of truth in the words. Every night she prayed and handed over her burdens and anxieties to Jesus and every morning she took them right back again. She felt at the end of her tether. As fast as she tied up the loose ends an even bigger one unravelled.
Jack, her friend’s husband and local handyman had casually mentioned that he thought there were traces of woodworm in one of the beams in the loft. His advice had been to shut the loft hatch and leave it to the people buying the house. Sadie’s heart had missed a beat. How could her God, who she was honouring, allow this to happen. Was it not enough that she had suffered loss and had a myriad of problems to solve.
Sharing the dilemma with a trusted friend she had been met with surprisingly non-committal advice. Maybe Jack had a good point. She knew Jack wasn’t a Christian and on occasions made scathing asides about Jesus. But he was knowledgeable and she trusted his judgement when it came to building maintenance.
Shutting the loft door on the problem would not be honouring to God. She could almost hear Jack triumphantly commenting about Christians being no different to others when faced with difficulties. On the other hand he was witness to the fact that, contrary to his advice on other matters, she had done all she could to leave the house in good condition.
There was no alternative. Sadie reached for the ‘phone directory and picked out the relevant specialists, arranging an appointment for the following week.
Relief brought elation to her soul and that incredible joy that was beyond understanding rose in her heart, culminating in silent praise. The loose ends were all in God’s hands and she knew she could trust Him to bring them all together.
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