Word Wednesday Nugget 

Knots, Nots, & Naughts
Dr. Rebekah McCloud

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My grandson plays high school basketball. His coach has required that each Wednesday all the players dress professionally including a collared shirt and necktie. I did a quick Internet search to find some simple directions on how to tie a tie that I could share with him. To my surprise, I found 15 different knots. Some traditional, like the Windsor. Some popular like the Four-in-Hand, and some unique like the Cape. Some were simple to tie and others took a little finesse.

Our lives are filled with a variety of knots, nots, and naughts. We tie and untie knots, get twisted in knots, get knots in our stomachs, and may even get knots upside our heads. We may have an intimate relationship with the have nots, can nots, do nots, will nots, might nots, may nots, could nots, should nots, would nots, or am nots. We may also be familiar with not yet, not now, not ever, and all has been for naught.

Handling the knots, nots, and naughts requires that we persevere and trust in God. He is bigger than any problem that we have. He goes before us and will walk with us through trials and tribulations, peaks and valleys, and kinks and knots. Volunteer State Choir sings a song titled “God Specializes.” Some of the lyrics say, “I know God specializes in things that seem impossible and things that seem unreasonable. When it looks like there’s no way out, I know God specializes. You got to trust him and have no doubt. It’s no secret what God can do. What he’s done for others he’ll do the same for you. God specializes.”

The Bible is filled with scriptures that encourage us to move forward and let us know that God specializes in whatever we need.

Joshua 1:9 reminds us, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”

Psalm 34:19 tells us, “The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all.”

Romans 8: 35-39, a familiar scripture to many, promises that nothing—not trouble, hardship, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger, or the sword—shall separate us from the love of God. We are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 

1 Peter 1:6-7 notes that we suffer grief and trials to prove the genuineness of our faith which is worth more than gold and may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

James 1: 2-4 says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”

Romans 5:3-5, in part, says, “We also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit.”

I recently saw a YouTube video of Kara Lawson, head coach of the Duke Blue Devils women’s basketball team, giving a motivational speech to the team. She said, “We all wait in life for things to get easier. It’s what we do. We wait for things to get easier. It will never get easier. What happens is you handle hard better.” Around the 1st century, the Apostle Paul said something similar. “Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: everywhere and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me,” (Philippians 4:11-13).

Let me encourage you and let me do as David and encourage myself (1 Samuel 30:6), no matter how many knots, not, and naughts we encounter in this life, no matter what is happening in our lives, all is well. We got this! As we move from the temporal to the eternal, let us learn to do hard well. We have a partner, the Lord Jesus Christ who specializes. If we trust him, through him we can do all things.

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