There is a writing term called, "The Muddle in the Middle". Basically, many writers (like myself) are really good at creating the beginning of the story and know the plan for the end of the story, but the middle... well, the middle can become "muddled".
Isn't that like life?
Many times, I find myself really good at planning for the future and making decisions that helps me build something for a specific goal, but as I begin to put those plans into action, life happens.
A child gets sick.
People visit from out of town.
Something I planned doesn't pan out like I imagined it would.
We have a crisis.
Then I wonder- what do I do next?
I am left with no choice but to pivot. But how do I know what to do next?
The Bible says in Proverbs 16:9, "In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps."
As humans, we are really good at assuming what tomorrow will look like. We like to feel in control, we like to plan- we don't like surprises.
Surprises and changes in life can lead us feeling uneasy, unsafe. It makes us uncomfortable. It can also cause us to squeeze our hands even tighter around wanting to "make it work" and stopping at nothing until everything returns and meets the expectations we had in our heads.
Unfortunately, that typically causes us to not be our best selves. As we try to control it more and more, it becomes more and more out of hand. So then frustration sets in and then we may take it out on everyone around us and on ourselves.
Thankfully, there is a better option.
Jesus promises to help us when the future feels muddled and we feel like everything is not going to plan. This is what He says:
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." -Matthew 11:28-30 NIV
A yoke is a piece of wood typically placed on top of cattle as they pull a machine to till the ground behind them. When Jesus says that "my yoke is easy, my burden is light," He's saying that this life He has given you is not meant to feel heavy and won't feel heavy if you allow Him to help you. How do we do that?
God sent us a helper ❤️
The Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit lives inside of you when you invite Jesus to be Lord of your life. He is the voice we hear that is strengthening, comforting, and encouraging when we get by ourselves and begin to pray. He is gentle, but firm. Never accusing, never condemning you, and always speaking truth to you in love. There is so much I could share on the Holy Spirit, but for now I will say He is a trusted friend- the same friend Jesus had during His life and ministry on earth. The Holy Spirit is our connection to the true heart of God, not what people try to tell us God is like.
As a Christian, when I am faced with "The Muddle in the Middle" I begin to speak to the Holy Spirit within me what to do next. He is a constant and reliable friend and always ready to listen.
"Okay, Holy Spirit. This didn't work out like I thought it would. What do I do now?"
And then I wait. And I listen. And if I don't sense anything in my heart, I go to the Bible and read or Google verses about what I'm going through. As you read, the Lord WILL speak to you, one way or the other. Even if it means you feel led to wait to make a decision at that point in time.
The Lord knows our end from our beginning. He knows the very number of each hair on our head. We make plans, but He helps us carry them out- His way. He is good and loves us and wants to help us.
I just have to let him.
If you allow Him to lead you through the middle times between the plans and the results, He will always be there for you because He WANTS His children (you!) to succeed.
If you don't know Jesus personally and want a relationship with Him that goes farther than going to church on Sunday, you can ask him to be Lord of your life. Invite the Holy Spirit (who is also God!) to come into your life and lead you every day into God's ways, which are much better than what we can come up with on our own.
Pray the prayer below to activate what you read in this article in your heart:
“Holy Spirit, I feel lost right now and things are not happening as I planned. I trust that your ways are perfect. I give this journey to you and ask for your guidance on what to do next. Show me your heart for the stage of my journey. I want to do this with you, not in my own strength. In Jesus name, Amen!”
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