Toys, books, legos, crayons, dolls with itsy bitsy shoes, tiny superman underwear, only one of each pair of socks…messes. My life is messy! The tiny people that live in my house, otherwise known as my children, love to make messes. I am not sure when they snuck out to attend the classes and earn a PhD in mess making, but they are experts!
A few months ago, I was packing up our house to move. While I was in one room packing, my kids were watching TV and playing in another room with the few toys we didn’t pack up. I would go in to check on them and find boxes unpacked, drawers cleared out with clothes everywhere, DVDs scattered around the room, etc. It was a nightmare. Were they protesting the move or just trying to see how crazy they could make me? I imagined their conversations went, “hey let’s mess with mom and unpack all these boxes she just spent 4 hours packing.” “Yeah! I bet we can get the veins in her neck to pop out again!” “Maybe she’ll pass out because her blood pressure shoots through the roof!”
I was so frustrated after a couple of days of this crazy cycle I thought one of us wouldn’t make it to the new house. So, I started praying…well it was more like complaining or whining. Dear God, why did you give me these tiny terrorists? I mean, I know I begged you for children, but…come on! Couldn’t you have given me some more compliant ones? Some that didn’t constantly make messes and expect me to clean them up? Seriously God, they just look at me like they have no idea why I am upset when they make a giant mess, then they cry and say they need help cleaning it up. They sure didn’t need help making the mess, but they can’t seem to figure out how to clean it up. What is the deal here? Help!!!
His reply was something like, “I know right. It’s not fun when people make a big mess and then cry to you to clean it up for them.” Me: “yes, that’s what I just said…oh wait, you are talking about grownups now aren’t you? Possibly me?” The Holy Spirit gently reminded me of times when I have made a mess of things in my life and expected God to fix it. He reminded me of stories in the Bible, and people I have encountered in ministry asking, “why me God? Why?”
Sometimes it’s because we made a big mess trying to do things ourselves or by being disobedient.
Well, that sobered me up real fast. If God can give grace and mercy and unconditional love for thousands of years of human messes, then I could deal with my three gifts from God and their messes. Just like God teaches us to stop making messes and cleanup after ourselves, I too can teach those tiny mess makers to cleanup and be responsible for their own behavior.
We all need a savior! That’s why God sent his only son to save us. John 3:16 tells us that he loved us so much he sacrificed his most precious gift. After we receive that salvation we are righteous or made in right standing with God. We are adopted into the family. Unfortunately, we are still a work in progress.
We must feed ourselves daily and learn to grow up and take responsibility for our actions, become more Christ like, and share the gospel with others. We don’t need to leave a path of destruction everywhere we go with our mouths, attitudes, and deeds for someone else to clean up. We should bring help and love to he world! (1 Timothy 4:12)
It was challenge to me for sure. Am I cleaner uper or mess maker in the Kingdom of God? James says, Faith without works is dead. (James 2:26) I intend to do some good wherever I go and live and work each day and not leave a mess for someone else to cleanup.
As a recovering mess maker, I know how hard that can be. I also know that God’s grace is sufficient for me (2 Cor 12:9) and that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil 4:13). With the Holy Spirit as my helper, I can leave a path of life and not destruction everywhere I go.
(See mom, all those years of me having a messy room taught me something, and you got your payback! Love you!)