This weekend I was blessed by a friend with a ticket to the Vicki Courtney retreat and REALLY enjoyed all that she shared with us. One thing that really stuck with me was when she talked about when life gets messy. It wasn’t necessarily just what she said that stuck with me, but also the reactions of the women who were attending. The conference was filled with many different women, many different age groups, many different churches and denominations, many different seasons of life and heritages. There was a wide variety of women present but based on the tears and the tissues one could gather that there are many who are dealing with hard things in life, a life that is messy.
As I looked around from time to time I found myself wondering what could be causing so many women to weep? So many walked in with bright, shining, smiling faces and now those faces are streaming with tears. What does their mess look like? Each of us either have a mess of our own, or have just recently gone through the process of cleaning up a mess. Some of the messes may seem “small” in comparison to other messes but the truth is that each mess is its own, and many seem to be painful, overwhelming, or defeating. Some of the messes we may have made ourselves, and some messes may have found their way into our lives without our permission, but regardless of the circumstances the messes are still there, and sometimes they can be really hard to clean up.
I thought about how that can be similar to our homes. Some homes seem to be immaculately kept and to the occupants, a mess means a few dishes in the sink and some mail on the counter. There are other homes where their mess means baskets of laundry waiting to be folded, toothpaste on the sink, dishes on the table, and constant crumby reminders of the little people who occupy that home. Then I think of the homes where the mess is so overwhelming that it’s not just messy, it’s dirty, and the thought of cleaning it seems impossible. Where do you even start with a mess like that? I think of a mess you’d see on hoarders where it overtakes the occupants and the overwhelming reality is that they’re in far too deep to clean it up on their own.
If we go back to the immaculate house, maybe they have one closet that they try to keep out of the spot light. They keep their mess tucked away so that no one will ever see it. If someone were to open the closet in this pristine home, the homeowner would be mortified that someone saw their mess. If we go to the house with a more visibly messy interior you could say they do the best they can, sure there is a mess, but they live in their home and sometimes that means it gets messy. Sometimes people see the mess but it’s ok, that’s what life looks like sometimes. The hoarder is beyond being able to hide their mess. Maybe the mess is spilling into the front yard or authorities have been notified because the occupant isn’t able to safely take care of themselves anymore. These all may seem different but truthfully, to the people living there, they’re all a mess. Each mess needs some effort to be cleaned up. It may not require as much effort as the other homes but each need is unique to the families living there.
Our real life messes are similar to that. Maybe we try to keep things looking perfect all the time so people won’t see the mess we have kept hidden in the closet. Maybe we have a mess that’s visible and we’re doing what we can to work through it. It’s not necessarily ideal but we know that sometimes life gets messy and we’re doing the best we can to try to clean it up. Maybe we have a mess that is more hoarder like. Maybe we’ve gotten into messes so deep and even dirty that they seem hopeless and there’s no way we can get it cleaned up on our own. The mess is spilling out everywhere, and consuming us.
What does your mess look like?
Maybe you’ve just finished getting your mess cleaned up and you’re in the place where you could lend a hand to someone else who’s struggling with what to do with their mess. Have you thought about pointing them to the One who is the ultimate housekeeper? His mercy wants to meet us in our mess. The devil wants us to be ashamed of the messy things going on in our lives. Satan wants us to think we are beyond fixing and that our messes are shocking. The devil wants us to think that we’re the only ones with the messes we have, and that no one could ever understand, but Mercy wants to meet us in our mess. Mercy says “I can fix this, I can clean this up, and I make things new.”
Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! (Psalm 51:1-2 ESV)
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9 ESV)
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. (2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV)
And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” (Revelation 21:5 ESV)
He is the ultimate housekeeper. He is the King of restoration, He makes all things new. Show Him your mess, and let Him help you tidy up. He’s really good at it. Perfect actually.
In His Love,
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