I have four kids. Three of them are boys. To say they are messy sometimes is an understatement. And some of them are messier than others.
My middle two boys share a room, because my third son does not like to sleep in his own room. It works out well for that reason, as well as for making them closer friends. But it does mean two people coexist in one room, making it twice as messy, especially if they have that tendency… and they do! I make them clean their room, but I am aware they have stashes and what they consider clean and what I consider clean are two very different things.
A couple of weeks ago they started mentioning they saw moths in their room. I thought, “oh, it’s probably just one or two, no big deal. It will take care of itself.” But time went on, and they kept complaining about it. So, finally this past week on one of my trips past their door, I glanced in, and I saw several little moths flying around; enough that I was alarmed! So in I went and then set out to clean their room. First, I removed all clothing and fabric items from sight and availability, except the curtains – taking dirty clothes down, putting clean clothes away. Then I removed all stashes of piles they tried to hide from sight, and when I got to the curtains I realized they were crumpled with the bottoms resting in pools of fabric on the TV stand beneath the window. I shook them out and little moths flew everywhere. Then I looked down and saw a ‘big daddy’ moth dead on the floor. Nice! When I got to the closet, I brought in a big box and announced I was getting rid of just about everything, toys included, with few exceptions… if they wanted to save anything, they’d have to be quick about it! As I cleaned – I saw remnants of the hamster maze they had set up months ago and hamster food still on the carpet, along with the ants that had found it. Wow! From there, I started cleaning around and under one of their beds where I found a cup with a cheeto (when did I last buy cheetos??), candy wrappers, pieces of food bars, old water bottles, stinky socks, crumbs and oh, so much more! I kept on, until their room was spotless, cleaned from top to bottom. Along the way – I was vacuuming up flying moths with the hose, having the kids swat at them with fly swatters. It was a full on battle, and I planned to win it!
The truth is, I didn’t enter in to their mess to clean it because I had to. I didn’t do it because they earned my service. I did it because I love them and want the best for them in every way. I want them to flourish and be healthy and be surrounded by a safe environment. I went in and made that room like new, restoring it to its original state, for their benefit. All for love!
In the same way as my boy’s room, our lives can get messy, and Jesus is willing and desperately wants to enter in to our mess and cleanse us and make us new. He wants to restore us, heal us and set us free of our messes – all for love!
There is no mess too big. There is nothing beyond his repair, nothing he can not do. He is a God who can do exceedingly, abundantly more than all we can ask, dream, or imagine according to his power that is at work within us, as it says in Ephesians 3:20. When his healing power meets our mess and we surrender it to him, the mess has to go. His grace and empowerment permeate our hearts and transform us from the inside out, changing the way we live in every area of life.
Our mess can be past mistakes, or the residue and pain of things done to us, or things we have done to others. It can be false beliefs, or feeling unloved, unwanted, rejected, or beyond repair or forgiveness. Our messiness can come from old hurts, habits and hang ups that we just can’t seem to get past… or any combination of the above. And the Bible is pretty clear that none of us are exempt from the mess that comes from living in a fallen world. As Romans 3:23 says, we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. And for all of us, there is hope because of our Savior. Jesus wants to heal us at every level, he wants to flood our hearts with his love – chasing out any lies that we are unlovable, unworthy, chase away the residue of our past, and He wants to remind us who we are in him.
Once we surrender our lives to Christ, we become a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). Jesus takes on our sin and makes us the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21), and no matter what we have walked through or will walk through, we know that we are more than conquerors through Christ (Romans 8:37)!
On our end, all we have to do is surrender our lives to Christ inviting Him in to our hearts, our lives, and our mess – like my kids invited me into their room. My power, at work in their room, made it like new. God’s power, at work in our hearts, makes us new. He sweeps out the cobwebs of our mind and floods our hearts with new life, new hope, and new peace. It’s not just a one time renewal, but a daily work of his power in our lives.
I have been a Christian for many years. Born into a ministry family, baptized at the age of twelve, yet it seems it’s only been the last few years that I have finally realized I will never arrive, never be without faults, nor will I ever have it all together, this side of heaven. I say, “I am a work in progress until the day I die.” That takes the pressure off me, as it reminds me that it’s God’s cleansing, healing work in his timing, by his power! And I, like all of us when we turn our lives over, become his workmanship according to Ephesians 2:10, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared for us to do.
That word workmanship is actually translated from the Greek word poema, or poem. We are God’s poem, his masterpiece. Not only does he clean us up and make us new as we yield to him, He also makes us into something beautiful. That’s manly beautiful, for you guys who are reading this! He turns our mess into our message; a message of hope for a hurting world, pointing them to Jesus, the only answer.
If you have not yet surrendered your life to Jesus, I hope you will do that today. Invite him in to every room of your mind, share it all, and talk to him about it all. After all, he already knows everything about you, and still loves you unconditionally. Then let him begin his new work in you. It’s an adventure like no other, with peace that knows no end. And it’s yours… all you have to do is open the door, and invite him in.