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Rest in the mess

garden messWhen I finally set hoe in the flower bed, it was a mess. Last year’s stalks still needed to be cut down. Weeds were already sprouting between new daffodil blooms, bad tangling around good.

Left on its own, it would only get worse.

So I pulled and cut and pruned and weeded. It was work, but it was my pleasure.

When I give myself to God each day, I’m a mess too.

How do I spend time with him? 
I sit.  I lay.  I walk. 
           I talk.  I listen.  I pray.
               I read.  I think.  I cry.
                    I laugh.  I feel.  I wonder.
                         I drink.  I ask.  I marvel. 
                              I linger.  I study.  I praise.

But also
     I wander.  I judge.  I argue.  
          I worry.  I envy.  I disappoint.  
               I whine.  I interrupt.  I crave. 
                    I fear.  I boast.  I abandon. 
                              I pity.  I dishonor. I sin.

It’s never unmixed, never 100% pure and holy. 
But left on my own, I will only get worse.
I require work.

So I come to God as I am. Not in a perfectly orchestrated “quiet time.” But in a jumbled mess of distractions, Bible on bed, twitter on hold, journal in scribbles, mind on “Try to focus! Try to focus!

Wouldn’t God rather work on an authentic mess than a shiny fake?

When i am in the presence of I AM, miracles happen.
His work on my mess gives me rest.

I can’t explain.

My messiness can only find rest in his holiness. Spiritual rest comes in letting God be God over me being me.

It’s his pleasure to clean me up. To make me holy. To make me his.

I find rest in that.

* * *

Are your “quiet times” with the Lord sometimes messy too?



Monica Sharman said...

"When I give myself to God each day, I’m a mess too."
You know, I find this comforting. If I had to be top-notch before giving myself to Him... He'd never get me. :}

Your "But also" list--- yeah.

Cherry Warrick said...

You described this so well ... we need quiet moments with God because we are a mess, and we need Him so much. Daily, moment-by-moment ... we need Him. I loved reading this ... thanks.

Laura said...

Lisa this is beautiful...we are always holy works in progress!

Barbara H. said...

Great thoughts. Elisabeth Elliot wrote once of her mental state during her devotional time, and it was a blessing to know she wasn't always in the most spiritual state of mind, either.

Lynn Severance said...

"Rest in the mess" - what a great statement, Lisa!

Too often I let the distractions or the "messy " parts of me bring on fasle guilt, and wonder how God will ever get "this garden" in order.

Now you remind me that it is by resting in what is - trusting in how He is doing the tending and gratefulness for His ever faithful understanding and mercy. Thank you so much!

Amy Nabors said...

An authentic mess. I love that. Because we all are a mess aren't we. No matter how hard we try to make ourselves all shiny inside we are all a mess.

Glynn said...

The garden is a picture of our lives, our spiritual lives. The new oner comes to take possession, and finds the garden willing but full of weeds and rocks and hard-packed dirt and old straggly plants. But by bit it's all dug up and tilled and worked and fertilized and planted and worked some more.

Courtney said...

Oh yes, so nice to know that we don't have to be perfect for God. That He loves us, and our mess. We can find God in so many messy moments.

bekahcubed said...

I've been taking refuge in Psalm 38:9 recently "Lord, all my desire is before You; And my sighing is not hidden from You." It's great comfort that God can handle all my desire and my sighing. I can lay the "messy bits" of my life before Him--and He's more than sufficient as gardener of my soul.

Holly said...

Oh, my, I so identified with this post! Thanks for such a hope-filled reminder!

Katie said...

Oh I love how I can come to God with my mess. It is a wonderful place to be. Realizing I could come and bring the mess with me helped me so much in my relationship with Him. :) Yep, kindred...

Anonymous said...

I concur and totally identify. On my own... man, I really don't want to think about that too long! Thanks Lisa.

Sheryl said...

"My messiness can only find rest in his holiness." Beautifully said. I think this is my favorite post of yours so far!


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