A Beautiful Mess

The verdict is in.
And the jury is correct.
I am a mess.

I am weary.
Weary of the never-ending conflict in our culture.
Weary of trying to do the right thing.
Weary of navigating tough circumstances, tough people, tough conversations.
In my words.
Relationships.
Actions.
Attitudes.
Decisions.
Weary of fighting the good fight.
Externally, but internally, too.

Frankly, I am even weary of me.

It would be so much easier to shut down.
It IS so much easier to shut down.
To not engage.
To not speak up.
To not risk being misunderstood.
To not try so hard to do what is right.
To simply drift.
To turn my head.
Look away.
Not see.
To choose apathy over love.
Towards you.
Towards “them”.
Towards even me.

This weariness that is deep in my soul led to this journal entry this morning:

God:

I am a valley of dry bones.
Breathe life into me again.
Help me to rise as a soldier, ready to fight.
One of the army of the resurrected.
Unable to fight on my own, yet filled with power because of You.

I am a disciple in the boat, terrified.
Questioning Your ways
Weary of fighting a storm while You sleep.
Or appear to sleep.
With my heart questioning if You really are concerned about me as a person.
Do You hear my cries?
When will You answer?
With David and Habakkuk I cry out, “How long, Oh Lord, how long?”
Have You forgotten to be kind?
How I long for You to calm the wind and waves in my life, in the lives of those I love.
How I long for You to stand up and speak to them, silencing them once and for all.

I am Hagar in the desert, dying of thirst.
Rejected. Lonely. Misunderstood. Maligned.
And yet hearing Your voice once more, telling my heart that You are the God Who Sees.
And knowing You are The God Who Understands Rejection.

I am the small child who doesn’t know what she wants.
What is best.
What should happen.
What to say.
What to do.
How to navigate the many, many hills, valleys and curves on this winding, circuitous road of life.
I think I know – but then I change my mind.
That leads to a confusing prayer life!
And leaves me once more with the only prayer that “works”– “May YOUR will be done.”
Because, frankly, I am stumped.
And more than a little afraid of what Your will might look like in my life.

In other words, I am a mess, Abba.

And the Truth of the matter is that I am a mess.
But the whole Truth is that I am a beloved mess.

I am wholly and dearly loved – which makes me holy and able to love.

Not because I am fabulous.
Not because I have it all together.
Not because I am never weary, fearful, or faithless.
But because You are Good.
You are the God of the second chance – and the 200th chance.
Forgiven 70 X 7 by You, I must forgive others in the same way.
And forgive myself as well.

So, Abba, for the gazillionth time, I echo that guy’s prayer from Mark 9: “I believe – help my unbelief.”
I confess that I am a mess
And that You are the only Hope I have.

Please be God alone in my life once more.
Please take my weaknesses and show Your strength
Please take my holes and fill them with love, with grace, with Your heart.
Take my broken heart and mend it as only You can.

I am desperate for You.
I cannot do what needs to be done without You.
I am lost without You.
Please move as only You can.

*******

I recently read that the biblical words “glory of God” are really best translated as “evidence of God”.

So when Romans 8:28 says that God works all things together for my good and His glory, it really says He works out all the details of my life for my good and to show evidence of His power in my life.

So if I pray, “Show me Your glory” I am really saying, “Show me the evidence of Who You are.”
And when I pray, “Be glorified today at my expense” I am really praying, “God, show them the evidence of Who You are in my life, no matter what it takes.”

And I want that prayer to be Truth as it leaves my lips.
As the cry of my heart.
But for you to see the evidence of God in my life, there has to be breaking.
Storms.
Tears.
Crises.
Because these are the things that crack my heart wide open.
So that the light can shine.
So that the world can see.
So that the evidence that God is real, powerful and at work can be seen in my life.

So He allows me to be a beloved mess.
He allows you to be one, too.
To keep struggling.
To have tough circumstances.
And tests of faith.
To walk through the valley of the shadow of death.
To be hurt by others.
To be disappointed.
Rejected.
Afraid.

Because it is then that the Light shines through.

Paul put it this way in 2 Corinthians 4:
But we have this precious treasure [the good news about salvation] in [unworthy] earthen vessels [of human frailty], so that the grandeur and surpassing greatness of the power will be [shown to be] from God [His sufficiency] and not from ourselves.

So I will accept that I am a beautiful mess.
An earthen vessel of human frailty
A cracked pot.
With an incredible Light shining through.
A treasure of power working from the inside out.
Taking all that is a mess in me and turning it into evidence of Who He is.
So that all the messes around me can be blessed.
Can know the power available to them.
And can know Him for themselves.

A beautiful mess in the hands of a Holy God becomes a mosaic of infinite beauty as the Light shines through the brokenness.

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