Hawkeye Seventh-day Adventist® Church

The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid? Ps 27:1

I make a mess!


I read a cute story this week! It was a story about a group of preschool children who were hearing the story of why we have a Christmas Day. The little ones were hearing the story of the long donkey ride to Bethlehem, and how tired Mary was. Then there was a talk about how there was no place for Mary and Joseph to stay. The kids entered into the story and pretended that they themselves were knocking on doors, asking for a place to stay. 

The children learn very quickly that when the teacher asked, “Do you have any place we can stay?” that their response should be, “No, I’m sorry there is no room.” 

However, during one week of storytelling and children's responses, when the standard question was asked, a young boy said, “No, our house is too messy.” 

Such a hilarious response from such a little one! 

But when you stop to think about the boy's answer, one has to think about the truth in his simple words. 

I have things in my life that are messy! Probably everyone does. My refrigerator is forever messy! When it gets cleaned, invariably I spill something, and it is messy again or I'm in a hurry and rush to put things away without properly putting things in safe containers and.......of course they tip and spill! I am very guilty. Or I put something in a container that I can't see through and then it is forgotten about—until I have too many unknowns that eventually, I don't even want to look in them for fear of what I will find! I am a messy refrigerator keeper! Recently, I had help in cleaning up part of my mess! I had a wonderful resolution to keep it clean! That lasted for a bit and then....of course something got spilled and.....you've guessed it! Now my refrigerator needs some cleaning, again! 

Our kitchen table is in the kitchen! No surprises there! But it is also in the same room that almost everyone enters when they come to our house. And because of that, a great number of things end up deposited in the kitchen—on the table! It is a never-ending mess! We attempt to make it unmessy and that works until the next time we come in with things in our hands and then the table is messy again! And consequently unusable. Until we take the time to unmessy it again! It is a never-ending battle!

We have heated our home with wood for many many years! We have loved our wood heat—It seems so much warmer than other ways of providing heat to our home. The downside is that wood is covered with bark! and slivers and sawdust from making it stove ready. Getting the wood into our house is a bit messy but thankfully a lot of that mess drops into the wood box. Getting the wood from the wood box to the stove involves a trip through the kitchen and then into the wood stove. More chances to make a mess as we carry the wood through the kitchen to the stove because the wood leaves a trail of slivers and pieces of bark. And there is always a messy area around our stove even when I put down a rug to catch the "messy". We need to constantly be cleaning up during the time we want to use our wood stove.

We have been doing some remodeling work for the last few years in our home. It isn't  terribly big jobs that we are attempting—just enough to make some areas in our "old" home a bit handier and nicer than they have been. But any kind of remodeling causes a mess! Hopefully it is a temporary mess. In our case, we are depending on help with these projects because, well, we need help as we grow older. Our help is wonderful help but often they can't stay to totally finish the project. Or the helpers also have their own jobs and help from them is a bit sporadic. Whatever the reason, the uncompleted projects leave me with a mess. And it takes me a while to solve the problems left behind. My brain is challenged when I want something and go to the place where it always was—only to remember that it is in a different place—but where? The mess lasts way longer than I would like. However, as I recently experienced, it gives me a good reason to decide if I have things I really don't need.

I am not the only one with the mess problem. So many times, I have heard and witnessed discussions about "where is that item or tool? It was right here!" But finding it in the unput away mess makes for a lot of time wasted. If only we weren't the cause of our own messy problems!

I have seen laundry messes! The laundry gets done but the washed, clean, and dry laundry just stays washed and dried. It never quite makes it into the closets. It stays a mess on the couch or bed or in the basket. The next time that special pair of socks is wanted, the mess of laundry piles has to be searched and searched for the needed item. 

What a waste of time! 

We don't like to have surprise visitors come and see our messes! We forget that God can see them!

I don’t want the refrigerator door to be opened by anyone else than me. I want my sins to stay behind closed doors. I don’t like my table to be messy and cluttered. But I am part of the cause of the clutter. I can change that if I am determined enough to clean it up and keep it clean. The mess in our house comes from the wood as we carry it. We leave bits of the mess along the way; we scatter the sinful mess as we journey with the wood through the house. Am I scattering bits of my sins along life’s way for others to pick up? When it comes to the mess made by unfinished projects, I am reminded that I am an unfinished project that God can help complete! I don’t have to wait on Him or on His work schedule! He is more than ready for me to call out for help to clean up and put away the mess I’ve made. The lesson that so many of us need to learn is to put away the things that cause clutter. Then we wouldn’t waste time searching for a certain tool or a mated pair of socks found at long last at the bottom of the heap! Time is one of the things that we can control and is one area that is part of the stewardship that is required of us. 

How many of us feel like our house, our very lives, are too messy for Jesus to enter? But isn’t that the very reason Jesus came to Earth: to join us in the mess of life and help us through it? During this time of celebrating the birth of Jesus, and then the life He lived here on earth, we know He comes daily to us and wants to be invited in to spend time with us. Yet we hesitate. We don't want Him to come into our messy lives. Yet He comes to help us clean up our messes.

The Bible is full of people who had messy lives! Despite that, Jesus was still able to use them for His good. Remember Adam and Jacob and Moses and David and Solomon and Zacchaeus and Peter and Paul and so many others.

More recently, history is also full of people of character who made mistakes but were able to do great things with God’s help. How encouraging! We have the blessed hope that Jesus not only wants to be involved in our messy lives, but He can use our imperfectness, ourselves for His glory. 

I pray that during this Christmas season and beyond, that you will join me and invite Jesus into the mess of your life. He is standing at the door and knocking! We need not be too ashamed to answer His knock and invite Him to come in and help with our messes!

Help is available! Help is coming! If I ask and allow!

Related Information

Seeing God in Everyday Things