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Picture your life as a jumble of shoestrings all tied up in knots, each shoestring a different color. The different shoestrings represent the different elements of your life, such as your family, your job, etc. This jumble of knots could represent many of our lives—with everything all knotted up. Each knot represents a problem, and the process of untangling those knots and straightening out those problems is going to take a bit of time and effort. It took a long time to tie all those knots, and it will take some time to straighten them all out.
I realize from my own experience that it often seems no progress is being made. You may feel you have so many problems that you are getting absolutely nowhere. However, you must keep in mind that even though you have a long way to go, you have also come a long way. The solution is to thank God for the progress you have made thus far, and trust Him to lead you to eventual healing—one day at a time.
One of our problems is that in our modern, instantaneous society we tend to jump from one thing to another. We have come to expect everything to be quick and easy. It's difficult for us to have the patience to stick with a problem until we see a breakthrough, and that's why we need God's help. You see, God never gets in a hurry. He never quits or runs out of patience. He will deal with us about one particular thing, and then He will let us rest for a while—but not too long. Soon He will come back and begin to work on something else. He will continue until, one by one, our knots are all untied.
If it sometimes seems that you're not making any progress, it's because the Lord is untying your knots one at a time. It may be hard, and it may take time, but if you will commit yourself to the process of getting well, sooner or later you will see victory in your life and experience the freedom you have wanted for so long. In some things I experienced freedom in a few months or a year, but there was one area in my life that took fourteen long years to overcome. The important thing to remember is, no matter how long it takes, never give up, and never quit—keep at it.
Maybe you're standing in the way of your own healing. Have you ever asked yourself, "Do I really want to get well?" Did you know there are people who really don't want to get well? It takes some people years to overcome their problems…and some never do. They don't really want to move past their problems. It seems they've become accustomed to having those problems around, and they're just content to live with them.
Sometimes people actually get addicted to having problems. It becomes their identity—their life. It defines everything they think, say and do. Their life seems to revolve around their problems. If you have a deep-seated and lingering disorder, you may be tempted to make that the focal point of your life. But I encourage you not to give in to that temptation. If you do, it will try to control your thinking and dominate every conversation you have. Don't let your life be taken over by your problems.
If you really want to get well, you'll have to stop using your problem as a means of getting attention, sympathy or pity. When I used to complain to my husband, he would tell me, "Joyce, I'm not going to feel sorry for you."
"I'm not trying to get you to feel sorry for me," I would protest.
"Yes, you are," he would say. "And I'm not going to do it, because if I do, you will never get over your problems."
That used to make me so mad I could have beaten him to a pulp. We get angry with those who tell us the truth. And the truth is that before we can get well, we must really want to be well—body, soul and spirit. We must want to get well badly enough that we are willing to hear and accept the truth about our situation.
Make a vow right now that from this moment on you are not going to waste any more of your valuable time feeling sorry for yourself and wallowing in self-pity over things you cannot change. Promise yourself that you'll stop using your problem as a crutch in your life. Instead, pledge that you will untangle the knots a little at a time, while living each day to the fullest, looking forward to what God has in store for you as you follow Him…one day at a time.