News & Events
A Beautiful Mess
- March 20, 2018
- Posted by: Carolyn Mahal
- Category: Devotions
Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. Relieve the troubles of my heart and free me from my anguish. Look on my affliction and my distress and take away all my sins. – Psalm 25:16-18
A beautiful mess – a contradiction used to show just how messed up our lives can sometimes get. Everyone who walks the path of life will find themselves dealing with troubles and difficulties. Many of us even experience times where our life feels more like a three-ring circus. And while these words might ring true to those people who venture off course every now and again, my heart, and this post, goes out to people who today, find themselves in places where they never dreamt they’d be.
What does it take to create a beautiful mess? In human terms a beautiful mess is one that has become so large, so powerful, so devastating that you can’t help but see the artistry in how it was constructed. Meteorologists and storm-chasers are often fascinated by the power and fury of a dangerous storm. Tornadoes and hurricanes are photographed, recorded, studied and somewhat celebrated for their beauty. I always found that a bit strange considering the devastation, property damage, and loss of life which storms of this magnitude can produce. But to some there is a beauty found in the clouds that drives them to ignore the danger and continue to pursue the storms.
The same can be said of our lives. Some messes are small; easy to stop and a breeze to clean. Other messes start small but build over time, reaching a point where they become too big to contain. We quickly see ourselves losing control – unable to go back and change the decisions we’ve made or to avoid the consequences to follow. And it seems that once we reach the place where we feel we’ve come through the worst of it, the mess returns once again; larger and more difficult to contain than ever before. It’s at these moments when we recognize just how complete the mess has become in our lives, and we are left with a critical decision on how we should proceed.
Our messes are one of the very few things in life that we can claim to be our own. You would think this commonality would help us put our issues into perspective, but sadly it does not. Despite our certain knowledge that every life has a certain level of ick, we work diligently to keep our own messes hidden from view. That’s why so many people choose to face their troubles by retreating – grabbing hold of the things around us that will give us the comfort and strength to cope with the mess. The choices are as varied as the people making them – family, work, volunteering, drinking, relationships, hobbies, etc… Each of these things can bring a level of relief, but they are temporary at best. Because the problem is not being faced head on, it is not being solved – merely deferred.
To fully rid ourselves of the messes we create, we must turn to Christ. In Him, we find the strength needed to rid ourselves of the mess once and for all. Through the forgiveness Christ won for us on the cross we not only break free from the sin but from the cycle of guilt and fear that the enemy uses to try to keep us burdened by dirt long washed away. With forgiveness in place and the Spirit guiding the way, we move to a new paradigm – a place where through daily renewal He removes the mess of our sin, revealing the beauty of a creation made in the very image of God – a beautiful mess indeed!
You call yourself a beautiful mess, and that is what you are.
The plans you made began to fade; you only see them from afar.
But do not fear; your Savior’s here. His power will suffice.
You’re free from sin, find strength within the outstretched arms of Christ.
Devotion by Richard Schumacher
LSEM Director of Programs & Services