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When Life is Twisted Like a Pretzel



Recently, while in Lower Manhattan, I was enticed by warm twisted dough with salt crystal sprinkles. A charming street vendor happily exchanged my money in hand for the overpriced delight. The treat, paired with my diet soda, led to a perfect pause from a stroll on the water walk. Because the pretzel was as big as my face, I needed a little help from my husband, who was happy to give it.


When pondering and researching the origin of a pretzel, what I found was a bit unexpected. According to Matt Blitz, author of The Legend of the Pretzel, the treat has "deep-rooted religious origins. At one time, they were thought to provide good fortune to those who crunched away. It was around 610 CE when legend says a monk with a twisted sense of humor lived in a secluded monastery in Northern Italy or Southern France. As a reward to his students for learning their prayers, this monk handed out baked pieces of leftover bread twisted together to resemble crossed arms, which was a traditional prayer pose. He called them pretiola, which is Latin for "little rewards." Moreover, the three-holed "pretiola," claimed the monk, represented the religious trinity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit."


Matt goes on to say that the word's etymology may not prove this story to be entirely accurate. Still, during the Middle Ages, monks gave away pretzels to the poor as a religious symbol that additionally provided literal sustenance. Because of this, the twisted snack caught on as a sign of fulfillment, good fortune, and prosperity.


I don't know if you enjoy the salty treat as I do. However, remember the three circles of the pretzel the next time your day gets all twisted up. Pause and praise. There is power in the Godhead, who is three in One, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. So call out to your Heavenly Father, trust God's Son, and rely on the Holy Spirit.


Call out to your Abba Father, who loves you deeply.


When Jesus taught his followers in Matthew 6 to pray, He addressed God as "Our Father." There is such beauty and truth in these two words. In your heavenly Father, you and I have a close intimate relationship. We can have a child-like faith in our very personal Daddy. He listens and hears you and me. He wants to bless us and give us everything we need to accomplish His will. Romans 8:15 reads, "For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” (ESV) Call out to your Abba Father when life is twisted like a pretzel.


Call out to your Abba Father when life is twisted like a pretzel.

Secondly, trust Jesus Christ, the Son of God.


He forgives, and He paid the penalty for our sins. Jesus Christ is the one who sacrificed Himself so that we can have profound freedom and a relationship with Him. Jesus Christ is also the one who intercedes for us. Romans 8:34 says, "Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us."


Friend, there are no easy answers to most of our struggles and hardships in this life. However, when I think of Jesus praying in the Garden of Gethsemane while Peter, James, and John struggled to stay awake, it encourages me that my Jesus does not abandon his own. Jesus came to earth to carry our struggles. He never leaves me. He is praying now for you and me. Now in heaven, He is interceding at the right hand of His Father. Trust your Jesus when life is twisted like a pretzel.


Trust your Jesus when life is twisted like a pretzel.

Thirdly, we can also rely on the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity. He who will give comfort and guidance. The Holy Spirit, our Helper, teaches and directs our steps and decisions when we ask. Lean into the quiet leading and voice of the Holy Spirit. He is a gift. He lives within each believer. John 14:26 reads, "But the helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you." Trust the Holy Spirit when life is twisted like a pretzel.


Trust the Holy Spirit when life is twisted like a pretzel.

Sweet Friend, I don't know what struggles or hardships you face today. Perhaps, you feel like your life is as twisted as a pretzel. Maybe your anxiety and emotions are tied up in knots. If so, grab that pretzel, hold it out, and let it remind you of the Big God you serve. See the three circles of the pretzel with fresh eyes. Let it remind you of our God, the three in One. He is your Abba Father. He is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. He is the Holy Spirit who is your comforter. Our God can and will strengthen you. He will uphold you with his righteous hand. He is for you and not against you. He is interceding for you. Trust Him. Rely on Him. Call out to your God. He is able. "Call to me, and I will answer you and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known." Jeremiah 33:3 (ESV)


And I pray you will live in freedom and enjoy your pretzels.




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