About a year ago my daughter read the book by Kate DeCamillo called “The Tale of Despereaux”. The story follows a wee little mouse, with very big ears, named Despereaux who befriends a human, Princess Pea. Eventually the princess is taken captive and Despereaux courageously decides to go deep into the dungeon filled with big, bad rats to save her. But before he goes in, he ties a tiny red thread to his waist so he won’t get lost in the dark catacombs that exist below the castle.
I never thought about any eternal truths from this story until I was reading a devotional by F.B. Meyer from his book, “Great Verses Throughout the Bible”. The morning verse from the other day was from Genesis 7:5 “And Noah did all that the Lord commanded him.” In his commentary, F.B. Meyer talks about how obeying God means walking in darkness sometimes. When God commanded Noah to build an ark, in a desert, it took him over 100 years to do it! Can you imagine?! He had been commanded, but then he chose to obey. He worked steadfastly for a century amidst criticism and ridicule I’m sure. Yet he obeyed not knowing how it was all going to go down.
FB Meyer states, “…walking on each day, [Noah] grew strong to trust in the bare word of his Almighty Guide, and grasped it as men in the catacombs will keep their hand on a tiny string or cord, until the first streak of daylight appear. Obey absolutely the voice that speaks in thy heart; the way is dark, but it is the way.”
It reminded me of that wee, courageous mouse Desperereaux! It was an impossible task to save the princess and he knew not the way down. But he knew how to get back to the light when he found her. He simply had to turn around, grab the string and start walking. Eventually, he would see the light from the dungeon door.
Sometimes we go our own way in this dark world holding nothing, walking in fear and hopelessness, making a mess of our lives. But our gracious Lord Jesus offers us another way. We can hold onto something that promises the way to an abundant life with Someone who made us, who knows us and who loves us deeply. I don’t know what the future holds, but the string my Savior offers me (and you) is His word, filled with direction, instruction, promises and best of all the Good News of life everlasting.
He knows the way to go. He has been down to the depth of the world and back again to redeem my life. He has seen my life from start to finish and knows exactly what I need today to get through tomorrow. Even though for me it may seem dark, He is light…there is no darkness within Him. He is there, holding my string, waiting for me to grab it. He created me. He knows the way. He is trustworthy.
O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.
You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do.
You know what I am going to say even before I say it, lord. You go before me and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too great for me to understand!
I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence!
If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there.
If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me.
I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night—
but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day.
Darkness and light are the same to you.
You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s
womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous—
how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was
woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life
was recorded in your book.Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed.
That is a red thread. He made us intimately in the womb. He knows us; all our hurts, joys, pain, sorrows and scars. He loves us as we are today and will love us until the day we die…forever. We can never escape from Him. His thoughts towards us are precious and more than the sand on the shore. We can hold onto this thread when we feel darkness wrap around us. This will guide us until we see the Light.
Another red thread you can grab onto today is a promise of an eternal blessing.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son,
that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.(John 3:16)
We won’t perish! What a beautiful promise! Through our belief in Him, He promises eternal life with Him forever in Heaven. It simply requires us to confess with our mouth and believe in our heart that He is God, that He died for you! The blessing is forever in Heaven with Him! That’s one you can grab hold of right now and claim! You are a child of God when you believe He gave His son and died for you! Have you picked up this red thread to follow Him?
One more red thread to hold onto today is we reap what we sow.
“Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant.
Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature.
But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.
So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time
we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. (Galatians 6:7-9)
I know that’s maybe not a “lovey-dovey” type red thread and may seem a little odd here. In fact, the beginning might scare you a bit. But it’s intended to comfort you! It gives me great hope! Noah trusted God and obeyed, yet he didn’t see any harvest for years!!! – and YEARS! He continued steadfastly walking with the Lord, holding that red thread that God gave Him through His voice and eventually he saw fruit. He obeyed and went the opposite direction of the world and He eventually saw the great power of God! He lived to satisfy God and not his own sinful nature.
Today you might be in the midst of changing another dirty diaper, wiping puke off the floor of your house, folding five more loads of laundry, working another shift to make ends meet, or whatever it is you have been called to do…but God sees you! If you are working unto the Lord with all your heart doing the work HE has given you to do, and if you love Him, then hang on to His red thread! I want to encourage you! He promises YOU WILL see fruit if you do not give up. He will bring you through it!
Yet, we can only hold so much in our wee little hands.
“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.” (Matthew 11:28-29)
God’s thread (His word) is not intended to wear us down and burden us. It should only bring peace, clarity, rest and hope. Even though at times His desires for us may feel heavy, within us we know we are on the right path and have the ability to carry on. What burdens us is when we grab onto false threads from this world and try and carry them too. They are heavy! They weigh us down. They try and tell us who we should be, who we really are, what we used to be, what we should be doing. They place huge weight on us.
“You deserve it! – drink this!” or “You should have that! – work harder” or “They don’t see your potential! – be bitter” or “They don’t deserve my love! – leave them!” or “I’m worthless! – I quit!”
These things the world tells us are false, heavy burdens that lead to despair and deeper into darkness. We must let go of the false threads the world tries to give us because they take us in the wrong direction. We start to feel stressed and pulled because we can’t hold onto God’s promises, to love our enemies and do good to those who hate you, and the world’s promises at the same time…they are in opposition of each other. Jesus came that we might have life, and life abundantly!
So what do we do!? How do I know what threads to trust and pick up?
There’s a funny thing that happens to all bank tellers. They become incredibly good at identifying counterfeit money. Why?!
Because they handle the real thing ALL the time.Same is true with the threads we hold in our hands. The more we handle the precious Word of God and read about how much He loves us, how He sent a Savior to die for us, that He has beautiful plans for our lives, that He promises blessings to those who obey, that He gives strength to the weary, that He promises us the Holy Spirit to help us in our weakness, we start to see the true red thread. The thread covered in His blood. The one He brought up from the pit of Hell when He died and paid our ransom. We can tell really quickly the difference between the counterfeit threads (the promises of this world) and those of the True and Living God the more we handle them. And believe me…the more you handle the true red thread of Christ, the more you will never want anything to do with the world’s broken threads again and the quicker you will let them go!
So, I challenge you. Get into the Word and grab hold of more and more precious promises and tie them together! Bind them around your heart and teach them to your children. Then, that bundle of red thread will guide you closer and closer to the one who made you. You will be able to walk in peace and confidence even in the dark because you know God is there with you. You will feel His tug on your threads guiding you on and will have patience to endure and wait for the harvest. You will walk in Light as you finally see what He is doing in and through you. You will know the power of the the Holy Spirit because your joy, your love, your hope and your peace will be unexplainable!