Our mess of yesterday can become our message today….
How true this is? It’s easy to look at our failures– the things that we wished we had not done, or our messes– when things don’t go the way that they should; but it’s those very things, that strengthen us. The Apostle Paul, describing an undisclosed weakness shares what Jesus tells him:
Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it from me. But He said to me, My grace is sufficient for you; for my power is perfected in weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9)
It’s pretty clear that Jesus sees our weaknesses, whether that is our “messes” or our failures or any thorn in our side, as an opportunity for God’s grace and power to be perfected in us.
Now for those of you self-prescribed “I-am-a-card-carrying-failure” (you know who you are), this should come as good news. And for those of you who beat yourself up when things don’t go the way you think they should…. this should also be good news. And for all of the rest of you… I guess you are in heaven already because we all have not so perfect lives here on earth:)
Reflecting on Paul’s words, I am reminded that we have a choice; a choice to see the cup half full or half empty; a choice to see our failures as the end of the road or the beginning of a fresh journey; a choice to see our lives through kingdom lenses of grace or through tinted self-degrading lenses.
Recently, I went on a journey. And it wasn’t a good one. It wasn’t a physical one either. It was an emotional roller coaster having decided that I was not a good mother. Now call me crazy because there was no reason for me to feel this way. I know I make mistakes in motherhood, however, I do not normally think I am a total failure. But this is where my skewed perspective went. My reasoning didn’t even make sense. We just do these things sometimes, right? We listen to the lies in our head and agree with them. Once we have made the agreement with the lies then the alliance we have made is solidified. From that point, our actions are affected and our lives are infected. Eventually, I emerged from the dark pit as I read the Word:
When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them our of all their troubles… (Psalm 34)
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses… (Hebrews 4)
For I know the plans I have e for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not evil (Jeremiah 29)
Our lives are not chess pieces in a chess game. Our lives are not as some would suggest, without divine purpose. God takes every part of our lives and weaves a magnificent tapestry. And woven into the tapestry is fear, failure, power struggles, shame, condemnation and all out messiness. But when we turn the ragged edges of the work site of the tapestry around, we see a magnificent work of art. That’s you and me. We are God’s magnificent creations.
Our mess of yesterday can become our message today.
Friends, your mess— my mess—- in the hands of God is a notable work of art. Every time we take our mess and position ourselves under the banner of God’s grace, we find our voice of victory and hope. Who do you need to reach out to today with your message of hope? Perhaps that person is you.