The Messiness of God

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Anyone who says God doesn’t like messes never watched a two year old eat spaghetti or a puppy in a roomful of children’s toys. Messiness is such an integral part of growth it seems impossible to live without it. The fact we are designed to learn things speaks to the role of disorder in the LORD’s apparently ordered universe.

HaShem’s desire to have a people whose hearts reflect His holiness and the singleness of His heart was manifested through lives that mostly reflected disorder and chaos. Judah was chosen to bring the Lion of Judah to earth, and yet was looking for a prostitute when he came across his daughter-in-law, who was lying in wait to seduce him.

David was a man after God’s own heart, but murdered a faithful man in order to obtain the beautiful Bathsheba. Yet it was their son, Solomon, whom God chose to lead Israel.

Time after time, the messiness of humanity has been built into the eternal purposes of God. Apparently, the LORD is perfectly able to transform disastrous messes into lives capable of bringing forth the beauty, grace and mercy of God.

Jesus, Himself, learned obedience through the things he suffered. His parents must have been frantic searching for their lost son, while he was going about his Father’s business.

I grew up in a wealthy family, living in an elegant home filled with valuable objects, antiques and furniture. While my friends’ parents forbid them to even enter their formal dining rooms, or play on the leather and velvet couches that graced their living rooms, my parents let my siblings and I run freely through the house.

My friends’ parents covered their expensive chairs with plastic, which they removed only for guests, while my long suffering mother and father patiently watched as chocolate, dog hair and even peanut butter and jelly got smeared, at one time or another, over virtually every object in the house. We were taught to enjoy the things we possessed, knowing that, over time, they would be broken or wear out with use. My father taught me that everything was to be used to its fullest, and its purpose was to be enjoyed until it could no longer give us pleasure.

God has given us all things to richly enjoy. He uses every experience to teach us who we are and who He is. He holds nothing back from us, in spite of our propensity to use His gifts in unimaginable ways, regardless of the certainty we will harm ourselves and others in our careless pursuit of pleasure.

The messes we leave behind become the teachable moments of our lives. One thing God isn’t is stingy. He abundantly gives us opportunity to succeed and to fail. He also gives us repentance and forgiveness to survive and recover from our bad decisions. He is more than able to

take the failures of our lives and weave them into glorious testimonies of the breadth and depth of His love, mercy and grace. In fact, it is a part of His plan.

When we are called by God to be His children, He endows us with the power of His love. It is, indeed, a loaded gun. We are called to be kings and priests and the actions of kings and priests are never without consequence; we will, indeed, give an account for every idle word.

But the purpose of God is to transform humans into the lovers of His soul. It is far too great a calling to be achieved by the listless, the pale and the unengaged. It is a destiny fit for a king. We are destined to manifest the power of a thunderstorm, the gentleness of a spring drizzle and the fury of a tornado. It is indeed a messy business.

Deep in the heart of God’s children is buried the impulsiveness and exuberance of God Himself, and deep in the heart of HaShem is the messiness that marks the nature of those who call Him Father.