T – Tangles and God {26 Surprising Ways to Encounter God, A-Z}

“It is not the outer objects that entangle us. It is the inner clinging that entangles us.”
– Tilopa



When my daughters were young, I didn’t like combing out their tangles. They had thick hair. Tugging at the tangles hurt them. It hurt me. (We used No More Tears for years to make it easier . . . and lots of braids.)

Life sometimes feels this way, too. Tangled up. Knotted. Like a gnarled necklace that we can’t untwist.

Where is God in this mess?

Try This

Think of an area in your life that feels complicated.

Then pray about one or more of these suggestions to encounter God in the tangles.

  1. Recruit a friend.
    Getting tangles out isn’t a task to be done alone. Who has God sent your way that might be just the person to walk through this situation with you?
  2. Use some oil.
    Sometimes we have to gently massage a situation and loosen it up before it’s ready to let go of our tangles. What small step can you take today to detach from the mess and relax its grip on you?
  3. Cut it out.
    When all else fails, God may want you to just cut the tangle out. Might he be asking you to drop this conflict altogether and run fast the other way? When the tangles get too snarled, cut your losses and flee (Hebrews 12:1).

Learn More

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Is there a tangle in your life right now? Can you work it out or will it need to be cut out? Please share in the comments.

Coming up tomorrow:

  • U – Underground
    Sometimes you have to go underground to save a life.


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16 thoughts on “T – Tangles and God {26 Surprising Ways to Encounter God, A-Z}

  1. Ceil

    Hi Lisa! What a great analogy the tangled hair is to your point about the spiritual ‘tangles’ we face. My granddaughter’s absolutely despise having their hair brushed too. Even when I know it doesn’t hurt, they cry ‘Ouch!’ a lot. We can be the same way.

    Add some ‘oil’. Love that! When I think of oil, I think of healing. And untangling too. I really connected to your ideas here today 🙂

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I don’t have granddaughters yet, but if their hair turns out to be like their mothers, I’ll have to respectfully refuse to brush it. ha. I feel for you. 🙂
      I love your connection between oil and healing. Beautiful analogy to add here!

  2. BettieG

    Lisa, These were such good thoughts tonight. My husband is the one who has the patience to unsnarl those nasty tangles that can happen in a necklace, but I usually get too impatient to just keep at it. And in thinking about that I can see that I have had that same impatience with the snarly areas in my life, and just want it “fixed now!” But sometimes God takes His time to gently & slowly untangle it all in His timing! Thanks for sharing these encouraging thoughts. –Blessings to you!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      That’s a good observation, Bettie…our patience (or impatience, in our case, ha) in one area is often reflected overall and shows us what we need to work on in general. My husband is much more patient than I am, too. And even when he is patiently working on untangling something, I want to take it away and give it a shot, even though I’d tired of it in a few seconds. 🙂

  3. David

    I was very happy when I bought my cross necklace. After I’d worn it for a while around the Abey and around the town it had to go back into its little box.

    Next week, arrived at work, I wanted to put on the necklace to start the day. I opened the box and found the thin silver chain had become one enormous tight knot *sob*. I think it took me an hour (with magnifying glass, orange sticks, compasses) to tease it all out back to a useable necklace again.

    I don’t think you can cut knots and tangles without damage, and most knots and tangles in life have threads leading off who knows where. You talk about finding God in things: maybe something Good is mixed up in some of these tangles somehow? All that can be done is to coax and tease so the knot can relax and unloosen itself.

    I think of demons as knots, pulling me into sin, like the “All Tangled Up” story you link to. Attacking them straight on just makes them get more tangled more tightly. So I try to ease off the self-condemnation and allow the area to loosen up – I suppose that means noticing what makes it tighter and when does it loosen, and steer myself in those directions.

    I learnt my lesson with the necklace: keep it wrapped around its mounting card so it doesn’t tangle up in the first place. I haven’t quite learnt that lesson in life. I have a few bits of scripture I can recite and abide with if I find my mind falling into a dark tangle. You have a video on “HALT” which was helpful.

    The “H” was for “Hungry” I think. This 31 days of yours is like a box of chocolates or a charcuterie!


    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Once again, your comment itself could be a blog post. Beautiful story about your necklace. I especially resonate with your point of not fighting the tangles so much but loosening the knot so it can work out easier. It made me think of my earbuds. Somehow the cords get tangled up into knots all on their own. ha (Actually just googled that and found this: “Physicists finally explain why your earphones are always tangled” http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/seriouslyscience/2014/06/18/scientific-explanation-earphones-always-tangled/#.WA_YqneZORs) 🙂

      Another thing resonating here is to keep the tangles from forming in the first place. Yes. When I travel, I’ve finally learned if I’ll carefully wrap my cords instead of just throwing everything into my bag, I won’t have to untangle them later. Doing the the same in our spiritual lives is a great analogy.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      In responding to David above, I was reminded about my earbud cords always getting tangled. My husband and I laugh about how they form knots in the night with no prompting. Sometimes it seems life’s tangles pop up just as mysteriously, too.

  4. Barbie

    I love this Lisa. My daughters did not like having their hair combed and I often found tangles so huge I would have to cut them out. I’m off to meet with Jesus and reflect on what entangles me and may have to be cut from my life.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I don’t miss combing out those huge tangles. My youngest daughter (now 21) still doesn’t like combing them out either. But better her than me now. 🙂 My hair is so short that I don’t have tangles. Praying your time with Jesus is enlightening!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Thanks, Floyd. I imagine you had to comb out a few tangles in your day, too, with your daughters and maybe even your own hair. 😉 I finally have mine short enough again that I barely even need a comb at all.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Thanks, Lori. Yes, there are always new tangles popping up, some of our own making, and some just from life. Either way, I’m glad God does help us navigate through them and out of them when possible.

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