by Pastor Mark Jordan
I had quite the embarrassing thing happen to me the other day. I met Tiffany and Ethan for a quick lunch at a local sandwich shop between appointments. While we were eating, I was giving them a rundown of my day to that point. I guess I got a little animated, because with a stroke of my left elbow, an entire cup of iced tea spilled all over the table, as well as splashing my face, glasses, arms, legs, shirt, pants, the chair, and the floor. It. Went. Everywhere. I sat there stunned at my mess, because it felt like there was easily twice as much tea in the various puddles than ever would have fit in the cup. Embarrassed, I tried cleaning the mess with Tiffany and Ethan’s help, but it was too much for the paper napkins we had at the table. Sheepishly, I walked to the counter and asked for help.
One of the servers at the shop walked to the table with grace and patience. He had a mop, bucket, and a handful of rags to handle the mess. As much as I hoped I could fix it, there wasn’t anything I could do. Still, the young man carefully cleaned the mess, and reassured me saying, “This happens all the time.” I thought to myself, “I’m sue it does, but not because of me.” As true as that might be, it illustrated a greater truth I want to share and celebrate.
God is the ultimate cleaner of our messes.
You know it. You’ve made a mess of things in your life at one time or another. When those moments happen, all you can do is sit and stare at the chaos you caused. Just when you feel like you deserve to be kicked out and never allowed back in, the servant of all patiently comes to you and cleans up the clutter, all the while reassuring you that it isn’t just okay, but you are okay. It might seem subtle. I assure you it is not.
Check out this gem from Scripture: “He treated the outsiders exactly as he treated us, beginning at the very center of who they were and working from that center outward, cleaning up their lives as they trusted and believed him” (Acts 5:9, MSG). Beautiful, isn’t it?
This is the gift of God. He doesn’t banish you for your messes; rather, He chooses to come and take it upon Himself to help you. You might feel a mess for needing the help, but remember, He came to serve; for as the Scripture says, this “is what the Son of Man has done: He came to serve, not be served…” (Matthew 20:28a, MSG).
Trust God; after all, He is the ultimate cleaner of our messes.
Prayer: Dear God, thank you for cleaning up my mess. As awful as it makes me feel, I thank you for your patient grace that redeems and restores me. I ask this in Jesus’ helping name. Amen.