Here in Maine, as the winter draws near, almost everyone who knits or crochets takes out their needles to begin projects of hats, mittens, shawls, or sweaters.
Sometimes what appears to be a simple pattern can end up a tangled mess if a lifeline isn’t used. I have been overconfident many times telling myself, “I don’t need that, I’ll find my way.” What a mistake! A lifeline while knitting provides a foolproof way of knowing where I am in the pattern if I become distracted as to what row I am on, losing my way. However, this can all be avoided. Taking the time to run a colored piece of yarn through all the stitches on the knitting needle every few rows can save the frustration of getting lost. I learned, through much trial and error, that using the lifeline is not an option but a necessity. If I get lost, all I have to do is tear back to the stitches held on the lifeline, pick up those stitches, and I will know what row to begin anew. The stitches held on the lifeline cannot move, nor is one stitch lost until those stitches are picked up on the needle, then, and only then, can the lifeline be pulled through, no longer needed until it is again inserted several rows below to once again secure where I am in the pattern.
Our relationship to Jesus can be illustrated in much the same way. If we are overconfident, carelessly going about our day without taking time to read our Bibles and pray, Satan will make certain we lose our way, as we become lost in our own destructive patterns and old habits we thought we had conquered. We can so easily sin and lose our way by compromising and not paying attention. As the hours and days pass, Jesus, our lifeline, can seem faint and almost invisible, as we travel on our own way in self-confidence without Him. As we become more entangled, life becomes more difficult as we try in our own strength to get back to our lifeline. What seems a few short steps away, can take many steps to return. Jesus is our pattern, our light and strength in every time of need. He is our lifeline, and only He knows the path we must travel to get to the kingdom. He will keep us, through prayer and Bible study, from becoming lost. We should not let distractions interfere in our Christian experience, losing time and distance to our heavenly home. Hold on, my fellow Christian, to Jesus. Hold on to the Lifeline, Jesus Christ, making your salvation sure.