Last night, we had quite a mess to clean up. When the weather gets colder, mice think my house is a better option than outside, so the critters try and get in out of the cold. Well, our weather turned and a couple mice have found their way in. We’ve been battling with all our weapons and last night, my husband thought he sniffed that unmistakable smell of a dead mouse. As we tried to locate the critter, he moved the refrigerator and eww! No dead mouse, but plenty of messy evidence. Gag. We spent the next 30 minutes cleaning, disinfecting and emptying the trash bag.
On the surface, my house is pretty clean. Cluttered, yes. Steve and I both work full-time and we have two elementary aged children, so clutter is inevitable. But, when we have guests, it looks pretty good. Clean, generally picked up. On the surface, we look pretty good.
Which got me thinking.
How does that analogy resonate with my spirit? Oh, sure. On the surface, I can be the person I want to be. I appear to have it all together. My kids are smart, good students who generally behave well. My husband and I have a good marriage. I have a challenging job with incredible co-workers. I have wonderful friends who encourage and love me. Spiritually, I am growing. My ministry is starting to grow little roots and stems. But boy, sometimes, just below the surface – well, let’s just say it isn’t all pretty.
I wrestle. I wrestle with doubts, fears, insecurities, pride – you name it. Do you? And I fight the urge to try and clean it all up with a neat and tidy bow of perfection so that others won’t think different if they knew what a mess I can be. I can blow up at the kids for the silliest thing. I can get my feelings hurt when Steve says something “the wrong way.” I can feel incredibly insecure when I’m in certain work situations. I can convince myself that accomplishments are mine and not God’s. Oh yes, I can make a big mess just below the surface that sometimes shows its ugly face above the water.
But go deeper. Into my heart. That’s where Jesus lives. And for every “surface issue,” he’s got an answer and a cure. Him. I need to let go and let him. He isn’t requiring me to fix it or clean it up for Him. In fact, he wants to use me in my brokenness. When I admit that I am a broken sinner who cannot make it without Him, He takes that brokenness and repentance and covers it in mercy and forgiveness. And somehow, he can clean up that mess so that it can be used to bring Him glory. I have seen Him do things in my life that leave me speechless. It can only be of Him.
Yes, I am a mess. But, I am not unfixable. And every day, with Jesus, I am making progress. How about you?