Life is challenging. It is challenging for us all. This pandemic has uniquely hit us all and it is messy for us all. Different is not better. Different isn’t to numb reality. Just because your reality looks different than my reality doesn’t make my reality less real.
Some people are out of work and full of worry. Some are working more. Some are working the same amount but the mental stress magnifies the challenges of work (Me; working 50 hrs a week feels like 85 hrs). Some of us struggle with homeschooling our kids, others crave having a kid to worry about. Some of us think masks are needed, some of us don’t. Some of us are ready to get back, some of us think we need to stay put. This has helped some and hurt others. It many ways and in many different ways, this is hitting us all.
It has taught me one thing I think we can all agree with; LIFE IS MESSY. For my mental health, I take a morning walk timed with the sunrise. I listen to God’s word, I pray and I spend time in worship. Well, I was on the small bay beach I find myself on every morning when I saw this;
It’s a sock. A dirty sock making the beach I walk on every morning messy. The mess frustrated me. I was quickly annoyed that a mess was ruining the picturesque scene for me. Then as I looked closer I realized it was one of my kid’s socks. When we walk to the bay, my kids like taking their shoes and socks off to run through the water. Apparently one of my kids walked home with one sock. Isn’t that weird? At what point did said kid think, “I’m wearing two shoes and one sock, whoops.” Kids are weird.
Seeing this gave me thought, it gave me pause and it was a lesson. Life is messy and there is joy in the mess. This forgotten sock represented not only a source of a mess but also joy. God moves through the mess. It reminded me that as life is messy for all, all have much to embrace through the mess. We all have much to learn.
When I came home I jotted down 7 things I need to embrace in the midst of a mess. As I write this it is 7:09 and I’ve given this 15 minutes thought. But in being fresh, I hope it offers a fresh perspective.
Romans reminds me that while we were still sinners (a mess) Christ died for me. Jesus embraced me in my mess and He is still embracing me. He’s embracing me, wanting to be embraced Himself. Embrace Him through prayer, His word, through worship, through obedience. And so on! Jesus is my peace. So to embrace Jesus is to embrace peace. Jesus is my hope so to embrace Jesus is to embrace hope.
Is my perspective absolute in the midst of a mess? Might my perspective from time to time be faulty? I know what I don’t know. I know my perspective is not 100% correct. I know every day I need a perspective shift. Where might God need to shift your perspective through the mess of life? Are you open to it? Will you humbly embrace it? Jesus is my joy so to embrace Jesus is to embrace joy.
Embrace the Lesson
Taking that a step further, there are some lessons that can only be learned through the messy times of life, through the challenging seasons or chapters of life. Smooth waters don’t develop skilled sailors. It’s the rough waters that produce something of great worth. Through the mess that is life right now, God has something to teach me.
I was never promised life would lack chaos. I’m promised God will walk with me through the chaos. I try to run from chaos. I try to eliminate chaos. Don’t go looking for the chaos that isn’t from God, but chaos from God needs to be embraced.
The word “disorder” is the antithesis of routine. I’m a man of routine. I thrive in routine. God is breaking me with this. I look through the heroes of the Bible, their lives were anything but routine. It was full of disorder and God moving through the disorder. The order of this world needs to be turned upside down. Therefore, God needs to bring disorder to create a new order. My habits are not God. My habits and routine bring me to Jesus. Change is good. I need to learn to embrace change. God is doing a new thing and something that requires Him to stir stuff up!
Embrace the Foundation
Perhaps God is rocking the foundation of your life so you’ll embrace Him as the foundation of life. For a foundation to be built, what was previously there needs to be roughed up, usually with a backhoe. You may feel like someone is taking a backhoe to your life right now. Is God trying to establish (or re-establish) Himself as the foundation of life? Jesus doesn’t LEAVE US IN THE MESS. He does not say that mess (old foundation) is not good, let me firm it up. No, He takes a backhoe to it and creates a new foundation. Embrace what is new and rid yourself of the old. Take a backhoe to the old life!
Embrace my Role as an Ambassador
People are watching. Life is a mess for us all. Will the people of God handle mess well? Will we proclaim Jesus through the mess? The light shines brightest in the darkness. Technically it is most noticed in the darkness because it's the same level of brightness. That is what we have here and now. Jesus through us in the mess is most noticed. In the midst of the mess will you embrace your role as an ambassador (representative) of God almighty? Will your ONE see something different in you through the mess?
So there it is, 7 lessons God taught me this morning about the mess of life. These are the reminders I needed. I hope they are encouraging to you through this craziness.
Stay on mission. The mission stays the same while the methods shift.
Keep Praying for One-
Written by Pastor Jason Coache,
Lead Pastor of Wellspring Church