Have you ever gone into your jewelry box and instead of pulling out a necklace, you got a blob of chains and pendants (and maybe an earring or two)? I have. I admit, I do not always take good care of my precious accessories.
Such is true of my life as well. It is usually when I am in a stressful situation, seeking comfort, that I reach for something that in the short term feels good, but in the long run, puts knots in the chain of my life.
The Lord patiently and consistently points them out. Theologians call this process "sanctification", but a spiritual power wash sounds more accurate.
And as far as I can tell, there are 3 kinds of messes I get into:
3. Blown Over
In the tangled mess, things are in chaos. That is what I mean when I describe my jewelry box. Knots and kinks galore. It is going to take The Lord time to undo the damage and restore what is broken. Things are wrapped up so tightly , He must pick and pull it all apart. When He is done, there are beautiful pieces of art for me to show off - for His glory.
In the shattered mess - it is like like someone picked up a huge porcelain plate and tossed it to the floor. I am broken and in shambles. But The Lord is not afraid to sweep those pieces into His Hand. He doesn't just put them back together. He takes those ugly, jagged edges and smooths them into something only He could create, that He will use to bless His Name.
In the blown over mess - when you first look at it, it seems ok. This is where I've taken my life and built up plans, agendas and goals all on my own. I have made my life a towering house of cards. Then the storms of this world come, and it is gone in a second - nothing left but a game of 52 pickup. But The Lord meets me there. He shows me that security was in my own understanding, not in the wisdom of His Word. The He graciously rebuilds, through the Rock of His Son. He makes Jesus my foundation and slowly, painstakingly creates a house of solid brick, never to be destroyed.
Romans 8:28 tells me all these experiences are for my own good. Do I believe that? I try.
2 Corinthians 5:17 tells me He is making something brand new out of my beautiful mess, something the world has never seen. Do I believe that? I try.
Galatians 6:15 tells me what counts is what He is doing, not my striving. Do I believe that? I try.
Trying may not seem like much, it may seem half-hearted. But it is what He asks. That I try - to love, trust, obey. And He will take me the rest of the way.
God is not only doing this in my life, He can do it in yours. And He is doing it with human history. Scripture tells us there will come a day with no more pain, no more sadness, no more tears. The world may tell us that things are going to end badly, but God is telling a different story. He is unraveling the tangled web of time and weaving it into a new Heaven and Earth.
All He asks is that you believe. And all you have to do is try.
(He'll take you the rest of the way!)