Have you made a mess of your life?

My four year old daughter recently made a HUGE mess in our home.  I’m not sure how she got hold of them (I’d love to blame my wife, but I was the only parental unit home at the time), but somehow, Evie spilled a container of round cake decorations all over the floor.  They are the kind that look like candy pearls.  Small and round, they rolled into every nook and cranny, and covered the floor on that part of the room.

At first, her older brother and sister had helped her to clean up the mess, as it was a daunting task for a four year old.  Then her attitude went south and she began to lash out at her brother and sister, so she lost their help.  When the time came for everyone to go play outside, Evie was still trying to clean up the mess she made.

After a few more minutes, Evie finally came up the stairs crying.  I asked her what was wrong, and she didn’t want to tell me.  Finally, she mustered up the courage to tell me through little tears that she couldn’t clean up the mess; though she created it, it was just too much for her fix the mess on her own.  So I went downstairs and talked her through it at first, and then got the vacuum and cleaned up the majority of the decorations, especially the ones that were hard to get to.  After a few minutes we were finished cleaning up, and Evie was on her way to join her brother, sister, and friends who were already playing outside.

Have you ever made a mess of things in your life?  Doesn’t it usually happen that way?  First, we get into things we aren’t supposed to be involved with in the first place.  Then we play around until it’s apparent we can’t handle it.  Before we know it, we’ve created a giant mess in our lives.  Others try to help us, but we push them away too.  So what’s the next step?

I know for me, at the times in life where I feel like I’ve messed things up far beyond my ability to fix them, that’s when I know I need to call on the Lord.

And when we approach him in humility and repentance, what is the response?  Is it “Ha, I told you so!”?  Is it a finger of judgment pointing us away from Him?  No, not at all.  When we approach Him sincerely with recognition of our shortcomings and a need for his help, the answer is always the same.  With love, grace, and truth, he cleans up the mess for us (having already paid the price for our sins) and helps us get to where we’re supposed to be.

Hebrews 4:14-16 puts it like this:

14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.”

Is your life a mess today?  Do you need help with the clean up?  The answer is very simple.  Approach his throne of grace with confidence, knowing that he will help you, and guide you back to where you’re supposed to be!

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