Breaking the Logjam

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While this might sound strange, I think that sometimes we have to let ourselves break before we can get fixed.

Truth is that we’re all broken and messed up in one way or another, and we’re all imperfectly equipped to deal with all the stuff that life throws at us on a daily basis. And that stuff tends to pile up over time.

Stress, frustration, confusion, anger, bitterness, sorrow, grief – all this negative debris builds up in our hearts and minds until, like too many logs jamming up a river, the general flow of our lives gets clogged and the pressure on the backside of that obstruction starts mounting.

Deep down inside us, we know that the logjam needs to break – and we know that until it does, our internal environment is only going to get worse and increasingly miserable.

But there’s this other part of us that resists and tries to keep it all dammed up and out of site. Maybe it’s pride or fear or shame or some combination thereof, but there’s just some twisted thing inside us that clings with a white-knuckled grip to the very things we need to let go of – and we intentionally avoid those things that would bring healing and release.

It’s kind of like the way I have always tried to avoid going to the dentist. Honestly, I’ve had some pretty bad, downright traumatic dental experiences through the years, so whenever I start feeling those telltale signs of a tooth going bad, I try to ignore it and pretend it’ll somehow magically go away if I just keep on ignoring it. But (go figure) it never works out that way, and days or weeks later, I’m dealing with a full-blown abscess, infection, and throbbing, mind-numbing pain.

My addled brain just has a hard time accepting that there’s no workable way around addressing the problem head-on. But once the problem has been addressed and the bad tooth is out, then suddenly I’m free to get on with my life – and, in hindsight, it seems insane that I waited so long and let things get that bad.

Unfortunately, I follow that same crazy pattern over and over again regarding a lot of things in my life – and, as I’ve observed watching other people over the years, I’m certainly not alone in that respect.

And forgive me if it sounds like I’m peddling religion here, but the only way I’ve ever found to truly break the logjams of my soul is in moments of total, abject, repentant surrender to my Heavenly Father – usually on my knees, face to the floor, and weeping like a baby.

And in a way that’s hard to explain, it’s in those moments of surrender, once the dam finally breaks, that what had felt like an infinite weight gets lifted off my shoulders. It’s like the suet that had been clogging up my soul gets blown out in an instant, and suddenly my spirit can breathe free again.

Now I know that all this is not going to earn me a lifetime membership in the Tough Guy He-Man’s Club or rave reviews in sophisticated, intellectual circles, but I am convinced that this is the bedrock reality we face as fallen human beings.

God is real, and we are His creations, made in His image. We are also sinners, and that leads to a lot of problems, pain, and suffering. And there is a kind of healing and restoration we can only get at His feet and from His hand – and He is always standing ready to give that healing touch if we’ll just come to Him.

I just need to remember that more often than I do.

P.S. Please continue to pray for my sister, Natalie, who is in a heated battle against breast cancer.

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