January 5: There is No Mess Too Big {for God} to Clean Up

Uh oh, momma... He kinda winces and looks my way. I thought the cap was still on and I squeezed it and... 

Applesauce splattered all over the floor.

I can see a glimmer of my past reactions in his eyes as he sizes me up, wondering what I'll do.

Oh, it's okay, buddy, I respond from the kitchen sink where I'm doing dishes. I'll clean it up in a minute when I'm done. No worries. There's no mess too big to clean up.

I paused at the thought, looking up from the sink and out the window. I caught a glimpse of the Lord's heart in those words, streaming in like the warm rays of sunshine through the kitchen window. Splashing light all over the table and brightening the room. Promising to warm every heart to His will if we let Him.

You know, kids, I continued, there's no mess too big to clean up, even for God. He's bigger than any mess we could ever make.

What if there was poop all over the house? the boy asks, as boys do. Always something with the bodily functions.

Well, that would sure be a big, gross mess, but we could still clean it up. 

There's no mess of a life, no mess of a promise, no mess of a relationship, no mess of an addiction, no mess of loss or destruction so big that the Lord isn't bigger still, that the Lord isn't able to clean up by His forgiveness and grace.

There may not be any more applesauce to go around, because actions have consequences, but He can sure clean it up off the floor and give you a fresh start.

A start from the place of redemption, healing, forgiveness, and wholeness.

So, kids, we're in this messy life together, you and me and God. We're all on the same team here. Because Lord knows our sin is going to spill all over each other--words we wish we could take back, promises broken, trust squandered--and we'll just have to work together to clean it up. We'll work together to make it right, for as long as it takes.

Because kids, there's also beauty and purpose in the mess. There's beauty in the brokenness. It's really a gift, you see, because it's only when we're completely broken, out of options, and up against a wall that we realize how very little control we actually have over this life. That the control we thought we had was merely an illusion, propped up by circumstance and possessions and health.

When we can look at the mess for what it is and, as a result, see God more clearly--clearly see that we are not Him--that, kids, is one of the greatest gifts.

He promises that if we humble ourselves before Him, that He will lift us up.

Oh, how we need that, kids. To be humbled, that is. He humbles us out of His great love for us, so that it may go well with us all of our days. To teach us that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord {Deuteronomy 8:3}.

The mess reminds us of our humanness, our fallibility. It points us toward the only One capable of making all things new, throwing us fresh into the arms of His warm and redeeming grace. If it weren't for some spilled applesauce every once in a while, we might get to thinking we could navigate this whole messy life on our own.

Don't you forget that, kids.

...if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. {2 Chronicles 7:14}