Monday, October 22, 2001
You know, sometimes people just overwhelm me with their love and their kindness. Some dear people from the church I grew up in learned about some needs we've had in our home for a long time. And well, with the schedule I have, there really hasn't been much time to make some of the desperately needed improvements or repairs--not to mention the fact that I am constructionally challenged, shall we say. And with our limited budget, we haven't been able to pay anyone else to do it either. Well, in this amazing expression of God's love, a work crew from my childhood church came to our house for three intensive days of house transformation. And now we can see all over the house the wonderful results of their labors.
But while they were in the middle of that work, life got very interesting around our house. We couldn't park in the driveway. Walking through the house was like walking through a minefield of cans and tools and workers. Our clothes were out of closets and laying all over tables. Furniture that had to be moved out of the worker's way made it very exciting just to walk through the house. It was a total mess! And even though I didn't enjoy the mess, I could handle the mess--for one simple reason: they were making our house a mess in order to make it better than it's ever been before.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A WORD WITH YOU today about "That Beautiful Mess."
In the pages of the Bible, there is probably no man whose life became more of a mess than Job. His name is synonymous with suffering. He loved God, but he lost his health, his fortune, his children--in his body and in his heart he experienced excruciating, relentless pain.
Here's Job's perspective on a life that had turned into a disaster. Our word for today from the Word of God, Job 42:1. "Then Job replied to the Lord, 'I know that You can do all things; no plan of Yours can be thwarted.'" Job says, "Through it all, Lord, I've learned You've got everything under control." And then in verse 5, Job describes how this painful time has affected his relationship with his God. He says, "My ears had heard of You, but now my eyes have seen You." The God he knew ABOUT when the house of his life was neat and tidy he now KNOWS intimately because of the mess his life became.
And all along God was planning to make the house of his life better than it had ever been before. Job 42:10 -- "After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord made him prosperous again...the Lord blessed the latter part of Job's life more than the first. He had 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand donkeys. And he also had seven sons and three daughters." But the post-mess Job had a relationship with God, a deep understanding of God, that the pre-mess Job had never imagined. It took the mess to accomplish the makeover in Job's life--and maybe in yours.
It could be that you're looking around your life right now and you see clutter and mess and dislocation everywhere. Like me, with our topsy-turvy, under-construction house, you're not enjoying this season at all. Trying to make sense of it has only led to greater frustration. You're not sure how you're going to make it through this painful mess.
Now the good Christian answer is, "Trust God." But because of what I experienced when my house looked like Tornado Junction, I think I understand a little better what that really means. I could tolerate the mess because I knew this was a process to make things better than they had ever been before-even though it didn't look like it in the middle of the process.
For you to trust God right now means believing and declaring--even when it doesn't look like it--that this mess is God's process for making things His way, this mess is not the final outcome. It's just the road to a better life to live in than you've ever experienced before.