My dog really likes getting a bath. I say that in jest, of course. In fact, at this moment he’s flailing around because he just got one. You see, he likes to roam on our property and when he finds “droppings,” he rolls in it and then thinks its okay to come in all stinky and messy. No matter how many times I scold him when he comes to the door that way, he doesn’t seem to get the message. He just can’t stay out of the messes.
I was thinking about how frustrated I get with him every time he does this (at least once a week) and it got me really thinking. What about the messes I get myself into over and over again? How often do I make a bad decision, display an unsupportive attitude, say a negative comment – then see the error of my ways and pray for a changed heart, rely on myself to make that change, only to slip up and repeat the pattern. Growing up, self-reliance was something that I really felt I needed to achieve. It was probably a protection mechanism so that I didn’t have to depend on anyone for fear of them letting me down. Yet, as good as I got at it, oftentimes it prevents me from really trusting and fully committing my actions to the Lord. It also makes me wonder how sad it must make God when He sees me make the same mistakes over and over, and how I’m sure He wants to see me turn those areas of my life over to Him to change and use for His purpose. When I fail to release my grip and “have to” control something, I am the one who suffers.
And then there are those areas where I have surrendered to Him. It’s a beautiful portrait of faith and love. When I pause and recognize His hand on my life, I see things I could never in my wildest dreams imagine. I see doors open and relationships prosper that never seemed possible.
So, my prayer today is that I can release all control to Him so that I can stay out of the messes. It may not be visible and stink like my dog, but the mess is still seen by Him who wants all of me. The best news is, of course, that there is grace sufficient enough to clean up any mess I may get into!