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My kids play a lot of legos.  Without fail, every time we get them out, the pieces get scattered all over the floor.  We have tried all kinds of things to keep that from happening, but to no avail.  The process of building and disassembling for any length of time is messy, and you know what?  That’s okay.  It reminds me of life.  

We try so hard to keep life pretty and clean, but at some point or another, we are going to end up with a mess to deal with.  As long as we are okay with that, we can move along well through life dealing with the messes with an attitude of thankfulness to God for this gift of life He has given us.  It’s when we place expectations for perfection on ourselves and others that we get into trouble.  We don’t want to deal with the mess anymore.  We start seeing others as a problem instead of loving them.  I have such a hard time with this.  I love cleanliness and order, and I love my kids . . . but the two don’t mix!  I have some kids that like things kept in their place, but the others either don’t care, don’t want to be bothered to clean up the messes they make, or actually enjoy making the mess.  I’ve come a long way in my reactions to the messes I encounter (just ask my husband), but I still have a long way to go.  I have so much admiration for those of you who aren’t bothered by chaos – oh to be able to embrace it with joy!

As I think about all of this, I think about God’s grace to us in the middle of our mess.  He likes, even requires, things to be clean in heaven, but He is more than willing to reach down into our lives and lovingly clean up our sinful messes.  Some of us are bothered by our sin and work hard to try to keep things clean (but ultimately fail in our own power).  Others of us aren’t bothered by our sin – we are used to it and think that that we are okay because we are comparing ourselves to people around us who look like they are sinning more than we are.  Some of us have given up on trying to live right; we don’t want to be bothered to live a holy life.  There are also those who enjoy their sin.  I guess we all have fallen into most or even all of these categories at some point in our lives.

God sent Jesus to live on this earth, in the middle of our mess, so that He could die on the cross and clean us up.  The Bible says in Isaiah 1:18 b:

though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.

Jesus did this for us willingly and with a good attitude.  Hebrews 12:2 says:

looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

Jesus is so amazing!  He faced death with joy because He was doing it out of love for us.  I have trouble cleaning up dirty floors with joy . . . Lord, please forgive me for failing to love others the way you have loved me.  The only way to change my attitude is to keep my eyes on Jesus!  No matter how tired I am, or how much I am hurting and wanting a break, I am called to a life of sacrifice and service for the glory of God.  So that others will hear the gospel and be drawn to repentance and salvation.  Romans 12:1 says:

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.

God wants to include us in His mission to clean up the mess of the world.  It’s amazing how God can take something that we think is hopeless and make something beautiful out of it.  So, until God calls us home to heaven, lets work together with joy!  We will all be amazed at the beauty in heaven.  It will be especially precious to us when we see lost souls who are there because of our faithfulness.

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