Monday Morning Devotions-September 12, 2022
The Mess Maker
If any of you lacks wisdom he should ask God, who gives generously to all, without finding fault, and it will be given to him. James 1:5
This devotion is 15 years old. That means it came along before my two granddaughters were born. So it couldn’t be about either one of them. Although children do tend to make messes at times, so do adults, even devotion writers. Hope you enjoy it. I think it has should the test of time so far”
"Boy I made a mess of that!"
"You know, I don't think I could have made a bigger mess if I had really tried."
"Sometimes it seems I have really made a mess of my life.
"Don't mess with Texas!"
Wait a minute how did that one get in there? OK, just thought I'd throw in a little
humor. It's one I saw on t-shirts at the College World Series when the
Texas Longhorns were playing.
Do those statements sound familiar? Have you ever said them or entertained those kinds of thoughts about yourself? We all have and they ain't fun, are they? From the nagging little mistakes to the big old messes---we've all made them. In fact, some of these things tend to stick with us and even when we recall them later, sometimes after many years, we still feel angst, discomfort, or embarrassment.
There are lots of different kinds of messes that can be made when the human element is involved. When I was in the Army, we ate in a Mess Hall. When we went into the fields for one of those lovely camping trips …I think they called them maneuvers, we were issued a Mess Kit. It didn't take me long to figure out why they used the term "mess." A lot of that cooking was a real mess. I can say that now because I have my honorable discharge, so no Mess Sergeant can put me on KP (kitchen patrol) and dirty up every pot and pan in the kitchen, when I would have to wash them. And those were some really big pots with lots of food stuck to them. They really were a mess. Of course, I still do l get assigned KP sometimes by the Lovely Susette. But she can cook good and it's worth it just to enjoy her home-cooked meals.
Yes, we all make a mess of things at times. Here's the good news. God can make a miracle out of your mess. As Joel Osteen said in a sermon a few Sundays ago, "There is no reason for a negative past to keep you from having a bright future. God is not looking for perfect people. If He did, we would all be disqualified." We don't have to let a mess we've made defeat us.
As Joel pointed out there are quite a few examples in the Bible of people who thought they had really messed up their lives and God still blessed them with a bright future. Remember when Moses saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew? He killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. Then, fearing reprisal he fled the country. (Exodus 2:11-15). Moses was probably thinking he had made a mess of things and his future looked anything but bright. But God turned Moses into a leader of his nation, and he rescued them from slavery.
Whatever has happened in the past cannot drag you down unless you let it. God sees nothing but bright skies and happiness ahead for you. James 1:5 points out that God is not a faultfinder. When you come to Him for help, He doesn't say. "Oh sure, now you come with your hat in hand. What about last week when you made that terrible business decision without consulting me? I had the right answer for you buddy. But no you went ahead and messed it up. So why don't you just figure this one out on your own like you did that one?"
Thank goodness God forgives our messes and converts them into recoveries. He is the God of second chance. He is a Plan B God , as well as Plan C, Plan D, however many plans we need. He is a patient, loving and forgiving God.
There is no need to think that we have used up all his forgiveness. We haven't blown all our chances. God loves us and as we read in 1 Corinthians: "Love keeps no record of wrongs." Now having said that about God, isn't that someone you would want to please? If so, then we should seek wisdom from Him.
Hebrews 4:16 says, "Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." God knows we have problems. He knows that many of these are of our own making. He fully understands all the forces that have caused us to be in the predicament we are in.
One pessimist summed up things by saying, "Life is hard and then you die." Boy, I'd hate to go through life feeling that way, wouldn't you? By focusing only on the negative things that take place we could feel that way.
Gosh, what about all the good things? Start with the fact that you woke up this morning and your name was not in the obituaries. You're alive. That's a great start and it gets better from there.
How about the fact that the sun came up this morning? You say Jim, where I live it's rained twelve days straight except for the days it snowed. Great, you'll appreciate the sun more when it does come out. :)
Joel said : "You're the only one who can keep God's plan for you from happening." Think about that. God didn't plan for you to make a mess of things. You are not a mess-maker in His eyes. He knows what you are struggling with. He really does have a great plan for the rest of your life. Psalm 139:16 says "You saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." Since God goes all the way back to the pre-natal planning of your life, He certainly is not going to desert you when trouble comes along, even if it is of your own making.
God never wastes anything. Remember how He had the disciples gather up all that leftover bread that he had multiplied from the boy's three loaves of bread and two fish? He is not going to waste your life, so don't you do it either. Seek His wisdom. He will share it with you. I like what Joel said:
"God can take your mess and turn it into your message!"
Prayer: Lord, please continue to forgive us when we make a mess. But help us to learn from each experience so we will first seek your wisdom, then act.