Funny how you can go through life feeling like everything is o.k., good even, and then you look around. I mean a good look around. And you realize that you have made a terrible mess of things. Sometimes the “messes” in our life take years to develop, but other messes can be made by the slip of the tongue and/or poor judgement on our part. A “mess” could be anything that causes a distraction in your life and takes you away from what God’s perfect plan is for your life. I think debt is a huge mess that some of us get ourselves into. Then we pray that God would send us a financial blessing. Why should God bless us with money when we didn’t handle our other money wisely? Isn’t there a parable about that in the gospels? Other messes involve relationships in our life. It is so easy to make a mess of relationships. The wrong words are spoken or the right words are spoken, but not received. Or sometimes, nothing at all is spoken, but vain imaginations run wild and we begin to think, “Maybe this person doesn’t like me. I must have done something wrong. Well, she can just get over herself…” etc. etc. Why do we do this? What a mess!
Thankfully, we have a God who is kind and tender-hearted toward us. He helps us clean up our messes. He doesn’t always clean them up for us, but with His divine guidance, the messes can be cleaned up. Sometimes we fight with Him (and ourself) about who will clean up the mess. Ex., We pray, “God please show so and so that they are wrong and please fix this situation for me.” He tells us, “No. You should humble yourself and apologize.”
I think there are several ways our “messes” get cleaned up. First, God has to bring revelation knowledge. Before we can fix our mess, we have to have knowledge that there is a mess. As a mom, I am constantly seeing the messes that my 3 year-old son Sam makes. I refuse to clean up a pile of toys that he dumps out in the middle of the floor to play with for 5 minutes. He does not see the mess. He will play and then walk away and not think a thing of it. It is my responsibility as his mother to show him the mess and teach him to pick up after himself. At other times, we are very aware of the mess, but we are overwhelmed with how to clean it up. Let’s revisit the toys dumped out on the floor. Sam has no problem doing the dumping; however, when I tell him it is time to clean up, he whines and says it is too hard. I hear myself telling him, “you didn’t need help making the mess, you shouldn’t need help cleaning it up.” I am so glad that God does not tell me that when I cry out to Him. Maybe I should be a little easier on Sam.
Sometimes, God helps us fix our messes in baby steps. We recently began taking the Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University class. The first thing he talks about is taking baby steps to get out of debt. I was able to apply this same principle with Sam picking up his toys. He dumped his toys out once again and played briefly and then wanted me to clean the mess up for him. I told him to pick up five toy cars at a time and put them in the box. He began to pick the toys up in increments of five (well maybe not always five, but you get the drift) and before he knew it, he had picked up all the toys by himself. I think this was a great lesson for him about cleaning up his mess in “baby steps” and it was a great accomplishment for me as a mom that a lesson was taught. Yea, mom.
There are times when we find ourselves involved in a “mess” that we did not make. Sometimes we do become victim to our circumstances. These are some of the most trying times because they cause confusion and probably some separation from other parties involved. Divorce is a fine example. Jon and Kate of the popular “Jon and Kate Plus 8” reality t.v. show announced Monday that they are divorcing. Divorce is such a common outlet now, but that does not take away from the damage that is caused from it. Their children will most likely at some point be confused about their parents’ relationship and they will suffer some separation. I married into a family with divorce. I have step-children who had to accept me as their dad’s new wife. This was hard for them and hard for me. I did not cause this divorce, but because of the “mess” left in the path, these relationships were hard to build.
Whatever the mess, there is always a way to clean it up. Seek God, seek wisdom. He will lead the way if you ask.