But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.
Having worked for a veterinarian for fifteen years I can honestly say I've seen all kinds of fur fly. Anything from angry cats ripping out chunks of hair, shedding long-haired dogs, to balls of fur so matted you couldn't slip a finger through the coat. I've brushed out knots, trimmed nails, pulled hair out of pet ears, and sheared out mats. So when my family came home to me shearing our Maltese, they shook their heads and walked past without a word.
As winter approaches our Maltese sits in the floor and quivers, so I bought her a sweater. If you know anything about the breed, you'll understand that their hair is long and fine. It knots easily. In fact, it can be quiet frustrating to keep them groomed. When cold weather hit I put her sweater on her, and left it there all winter. She was happy. She didn't shiver and shake and you'd find her at any given time with her nose nuzzled inside the collar sleeping.
Recently I noticed she couldn't jump onto the couch. My first thought was she'd injured herself -until I pulled off her sweater. Her fine fur was matted to the skin and the hair under her legs was so tight to her body that she couldn't stretch her rear legs far enough to leap. Rather than putting her through the torture of brushing, I simply sheared her. Once she was free of the knotted fur, she was bouncing around the house barking, rolling and rubbing her face on the floor. She felt great (we won't say how she looks, but she felt great).
I thought to myself as I watched her roll on the floor how relieved she was. She'd been freed from the bonds of the matted fur. Oddly enough, I could relate that to my own life. There have been many times when situations have weighed me down, kept me in knots, preventing me from walking freely. Sin does that to us by burdening us down and stopping us from enjoying the pleasures the Father has given us.
These are the times I go to God and ask Him to shear away the mats. When I fall to my knees, submit myself to Him, and repent wholeheartedly, God's mercy and grace cut through the sin and set me free. The weight is lifted and I can move with ease - take in a good deep breath and exhale. You could say I feel "shear delight."
When you feel so burdened that you cannot function, when darkness hovers over you like a heavy blanket, call to Him. Fall before Him and ask Him to shear away the knots. There is nothing greater than the sense of relief when God lifts the weight from our shoulders and allows us to stand upright and breathe. Ask. He will heal.