Bits of Sweetness: What a beautiful mess I'm in

What a beautiful mess I'm in

"spending all my time with you, there's nothing else I'd rather do!" And oh the song is stuck in my mind. Funny how before I moved to Nevada, I could not stand country. (Seriously. Refused to listen to it.) But after I moved there (and it was everywhere. You could not get away from it!) I finally started to appreciate it more. Anyone else a fan?

So, that's not even the point of this post but the song came to mind so you're welcome :) The point is the beautiful mess part. Take a few minutes and watch this great video. You just might be refreshed.


(You can find more encouraging and challenging {in a good way!} sermons here )

It's so silly, but I remember as a kid, wanting this pair of tennis shoes. They were the coolest thing ever and so on my list. I was maybe five? I remember making a deal with God that after I got the shoes, I would obey Him and my parents after that. Looking back, I can't help but laugh at myself. I mean, who was I kidding?! But then I think about my life today. Deep down, I think I forget that God wants me now. In a noble effort to be more like Him, I forget about the right now. I focus on the goal, to be more godly, to be more holy, to be more righteous, to cut out the messy because ewh. Why would God want to see that? How could he even use that?! But oh, he does. He wants me. All of me. Why do I feel guilt and feel the need to hide myself? Jesus paid it all. Not the pretty. The ugly too. He paid it so I can look at it and not have to feel ashamed. He paid it so I can look at the messy and revel in His glory and love. I can look at the uglier parts of life and realize that Jesus is still holding my hand then. He never stops. He doesn't scoff and tell me that someday when I finally get my act together, he'll think about using me. No friends, the time is now. The time to open my arms and run to my Abba's wonderful embrace is now, amidst all the mess. I have a feeling if Jesus were to show up at my house right now, he would sit down and we would have a wonderful chat, over something tasty, while imperfection abounded all around.

What is up with the push to be a perfectly holy Christian (someday) and the idea that we might ruin how others view God so we need to look beautiful so it's our job to do image control for Jesus? I am realizing more and more that Jesus does not want me when I am all cleaned up and beautiful on the inside. He does not want a church that is all beautiful and free (from the outside at least) of sin. He wants me today. He wants us in our imperfect glory. Now. In the middle of all the awesomely filthy mess. The moments I would die from having put up on a billboard for all to see. The moments I so desire to get rid of before I try to be something for Jesus. The people we would rather not spend time with because ooh, they have obvious sin. Or, the fault of our own that we take so much care in hiding because oh man. What would people think if they knew we struggled with that?! But wait- what was Jesus about?! Condemning? Or Freeing from sin. Being honest about the mess or taking us by the hand to something greater? Pointing fingers at us, at how in the world us, the seemingly pretty Christian us, fell into that trap? Jesus didn't die for pretty though. Why do I keep forgetting that? He died so I might be free from living for that. He died to give me freedom to live reveling in his grace and glory in the middle of my icky muddy mess.

Where do I go from here? From the realization that while God wants us to be changed into his image, he doesn't wait until perfection to use us to shine his light. Oh no. Not even. Does it make me want to revel in my mess and guilt or striving for perfection? Quite the opposite. It makes me want to pursue his love even more. Not perfection. But holiness. Not an unattainable standard of living but his goodness and love and everything I feel like I lack when I am so zoned in on being a pretty Christian. See, God doesn't want pretty. He wants hearts that are in love with him, hearts that see the mess around and realize how much more they need Him. Hearts that realize that where they fall short, he is an overflowing abundance.

I am realizing that my Jesus is so much different than I ever thought. He is so much better than the idealized version I have chased after and tried tirelessly to be. The real Jesus that sees my mess and has no guilt and shame to offer me has insatiable, immeasurable joy. All I have to do is take it.

What does it look like though? I mean all these thoughts probably sound so grand, but on a daily level what does that really actually look like? Like this.

The moments when I have lost my patience with Andrew and yell something careless and hurtful. It's the moments after letting Jesus sweep me up into grace and wrapping Andrew in a hug, apologizing and letting him know that I am not perfect and I am so sorry for yelling and I love him so much. Conveying that Jesus always loves him, and always loves me even when I mess up.

It's the times when I am just having a crummy day, feeling cranky, and having a little heart to heart telling Jesus all about it.

It's the times I mess up, and stumble, giving in to a sin. It's realizing that Jesus wants me the most right then. He wants to free me from the sin. It's being able to just go to him, and ask for help knowing he's not condemning me for not being pretty and for having made a wrong choice.




And oh, my favorite!

Love this song!
(listen below)
(song is "From the Inside Out")

Today friends, I challenge you to open up your heart, give Him your mess,
no matter how big or small (or literal!)
and rest in His goodness and love.
He never wanted us to carry the weight of the mess to begin with!

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