If you've read any of the #messy posts you know I've chosen to write about my struggles in the midst of them. Rather than write the cleaned-up sanitized version of the challenges I face, I'm attempting to give voice to, not only my struggles, but the struggles many of you have too. The truth is we are not alone. We may have different difficulties but we all know the pain and hardship of life.
Because I'm not good with discomfort, rejection, or brokenness, I'd like it to end now. It's not that I'm not familiar with those deep waters, I just want this "season" to be over. Can we just move on, please?
I have to believe our friends in the Bible felt the same way we do today. Things have not changed all that much.
Take Noah for example. It's tempting to believe the cozy sweet picture of Noah and the Ark. You know the one where he is standing at the door waving and smiling as he is about to set off for the adventure he'd been dreaming of. Even the waves look friendly and inviting. You can just imagine Noah's wife exclaiming from the kitchen, Oh Noah, what could possibly be better than this! Thank you!
Only, that's not how the story went.
Noah and his family were not vacationing on a cruise ship for forty days and forty nights. They were tossed back and forth on the turbulent and tempestuous waves of life. They weren't lounging on the lido deck basking in the brilliance of the sun. They were below deck, slinging crap [literally] and rationing food. They were growing impatient and doubting this great idea of boarding an island to nowhere, wondering, will it ever stop raining? Like me, Noah was probably thinking, God, I'm ready for this to be over now!
Somewhere though, right smack in the middle of my "can I be done" mindset, something occurred to me. It may seem obvious to you and it should to me. I write about it and I believe it.
Our lives our hard.
This Christian life is no different from any other - same struggles, same problems, and same anxieties.
However, it seems like a new revelation just now.
It feels like a new discovery.
It's not complicated.
It's just true.
I'm not in the midst of a "season" of #messy.
I'm in the midst of a #messy life.
All of life is one long #messy.
Consider Noah's life. We might be tempted to think that the forty day "season" of his life was messier than the rest. However, a trip down memory lane reminds us that prior to boarding the Ark, Noah was ostracized, mocked, and abandoned by friends and neighbors who thought he was crazy. After his ship landed on dry ground, what happened? All kinds of family drama and relational struggles erupted. Noah ends up drunk and shamed by one of his sons. Did they ever reconcile? The Bible doesn't tell us. The point is this. Noah did not face a "season" of mess. His whole life pointed to the mess he was in.
The same is true for me and for you. I am tempted to believe that the last several years have been messier than all my other fifty plus years. Probably because my memory is fading! However, taking a trip down another memory lane I quickly discover that messiness is not isolated to a "season." I grew up in a home where tension, turmoil, and terror was constant. My room was my refuge. Teen years brought some relief as I ventured out and away, but the struggle and pain was a constant friend. Early adulthood brought fun and frivolity, but now I realize it was one long attempt to numb the reality of my brokenness. That's not to say there weren't times of great joy and intense happiness. I have experienced immense satisfaction and contentment at times. I'm grateful for memories of pleasure and peacefulness. I delight in close friends, family, laughter, and all this life has to offer. But, this life is not without pain. The longer I live, more friends get sick, more people I know die, and more problems mount on top of existing ones. However, like Noah, my life is lived in light of Love.
God came down.
He is here. I don't need to worry and wring my hands over "seasons" of messy, waiting for an intervention.
Intervention came. Christ intervened at the cross.
He did not come to intervene into one episode of messiness in my life, as if to say all the other parts of my life are not messy. If you could spend a day with me you would know that's not true, or you could just ask my husband :)
My entire life is a testimony of need. The need for a rescue.
#Messy is not a season to get through. #Messy is life.
Thankfully, we live our lives in light of Love. Light that obliterates the dark shadows of #messy.
Jesus does not deny the reality of our mess.
He embraces it and in the midst whispers,
...I came for you, I love you, and you are mine.