God Loves Us Especially in Our Messes
God loves us especially in our messes. This whole mess business was inspired by a huge renovation project that is going on at my church and a lovely email I received from a Guided Life Ezine reader who shared her story of transformation to trust God in the midst of her messes. (You’ll love her dialogue back and forth with God.)
Our church project involves getting a new pipe organ to be installed over the period of almost a year. The first step is renovating the front of the sanctuary.
The choir had a rare Sunday off from singing, so instead of sitting in the choir stalls, Robert and I sat in the congregation in our usual spot, pew two (I’ve heard the self-assigned pew is a Presbyterian thing).
Reaching up to the three or four story ceiling was scaffolding surrounding the area where the chambers hold the organ pipes. In our direct line of sight was a sign which read:
I was immediately struck with the thought; God loves us in our messes. After the sermon I took a picture of the sign and told my pastor that I was going to do a post on this subject. He added the word, especially. He said, “God loves us especially in our messes.”
As I mentioned, this mess subject made me think of a lovely email I received from Loretta. I asked her if I could share her story with you and she gave me an enthusiastic yes.
Five months ago Loretta was searching to quiet her mind and draw closer to God and reached out to me. She had tried to quiet her mind with meditation in the past, but it didn’t work. She was afraid she suffered from A.D.H.D. The only way she tried to connect with God was through intense Bible study which left her exhausted. Since her first email to me, she has made an amazing transformation. Her emails keep getting sweeter and sweeter. Here is her “mess” email:
Thank you, Jackie, for your transparency. You speak to me and I really get your open heart that genuinely wants to help people know God and experience His love for us.
I’ve had a lesson this past Saturday I would like to share with you. I woke up with a bad attitude and I just couldn’t bring myself to practice meditation. Instead, I got busy. So busy I found myself down the road hauling an old rocker that must have fallen off the garbage truck and putting it on a wheel barrel to take it back to my house. I was in a tizzy! That rocker had lain there at least 3 months! So, I’m disgusted with this neighborhood, too. (I’m laughing now at the sight I must have been). By the end of the day I had had enough of myself and sat down and wrote God, “Why am I such a mess today?” Writing helps me focus on God.
God Speaks to Loretta
He says, “You are always a mess!” and I sobbed and sobbed. Then He says, “It’s a beautiful thing our time together.”
I realized even when I think I’ve got it together, I don’t. I need our Heavenly Father all the time, the good times and in the bad times. Well, He revealed the root of the problem in me and I’ll share this last part ‘cause it will bless you too. Here’s my conversation:
God: “I yearn for your presence.”
Me: “Even all the mess?”
God: “Yes, with all the mess.”
Me: “You really mean crave don’t you?”
God: “Yes, I do crave time with all my children.”
Isn’t that precious, Jackie? I know that my lesson here is simple. God accepts me just as I am. He awaits His children with open arms.
Meditation has put God Deep in my Heart
Well, this note turned into a letter and I type so slowly. I am finding that my hearing is becoming more acute listening to the “Be Still” CD. Is this an indication of learning to better shut out distractions in God’s presence? I still battle with mental chatter that interrupts me. It’s been over 2 weeks of faithfully practicing meditation and am finding God honors this approach even though I still have trouble being still. I’m learning to trust God with all areas of my life. Yes, I said trust. The meditation is putting God so deep in my heart – I don’t know how else to explain it. I am really experiencing Him. I’m in great transition retiring to Florida with my husband from Ohio. It was rather shocking. LOL.
My goals are simple right now. I just want to be where God would have me be. That’s an interesting statement. Because God seems to just use me where ever I seem to be at the time. As you already know I wanted to experience the love of Christ. With practicing meditation I am starting to actually experience His love and that kind of love automatically reaches out to others.
That rocker still is in the wheel barrel by the way, awaiting my husband’s administration ‘cause it doesn’t fit in a large trash bag and he was so mad at me for bringing that “no telling what’s in it” he said, home. And I love him just like God loves me. Now, see the victory of practicing meditation?!! You are no accident in my life, Jackie. I sincerely thank you.
Well, what a blessing this email was from Loretta. She is no accident in my life either. Loretta has since reached out to me to tell me that the mental chatter has stopped.
Life is Messy – Remodeling is Messy
We may feel like a mess, but life is messy. Relationships go south. Divorce happens. People we love get sick. We get sick. People we love die. Children have problems. There are financial difficulties. Dreams are broken. Our past and dysfunctional relationships can mold us; the parental kind, religious kind or friends or family that may have caused us to feel like a mess. But through it all, God is there waiting to help us, as Loretta says, in our good times, and especially in our messes. When we seek to trust God, when we take time to be still and have an intimate relationship with God, when we seek to be transformed by God, we can feel and know that God is with us.
There may have to be a lot of remodeling that needs to happen. Remodeling is messy. Our church project is a great metaphor of a huge plan that right now looks like one big mess. But when the rebuilding is finished, it will be a grand addition to bring a transformed space that will be filled with heavenly music to reach out not only into our sanctuary, but a space that will reach out into the community.
Growth doesn’t happen without pain. It is only normal to try to avoid pain. But sometimes we can be lulled into a false sense of security. Not growing can be as equally painful. We may not experience the pain until a lot further down the road. We may be comfortable even if we are miserable. We know what to expect which gives us that security.
Growth is Painful but God is Powerful
But in the Gospel of John it says: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit. Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine and you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit.”
Paul says in 2 Corinthians, “So if anyone be in Christ, he is a new creation; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
This verse I love, Colossians 1:29 says, “And for this I toil, wrestling according to His energy which is powerfully at work in me.”
Life means growth. We are not alone. God is with us and His presence is within us. Know that God loves you always, in the good times and especially in the messes.
Peace and blessings,