“… The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
Victoria surveyed the cluttered mess in her new room. The furniture was in place but the rest of her bedroom was in boxes, bags, totes and even suitcases. She and her mom and brother recently moved to a new house in a new town to be closer to Grandma. Victoria wasn’t happy with the move, leaving all her friends and a familiar neighborhood behind. The mess seemed unfixable.
Victoria heard her mom and brother in the kitchen, debating about the organization and what should go where. The kitchen boxes were even more numerous than hers. But she also heard laughter and joking and glad voices as they set about their chore. Victoria sat on her bare mattress, not even knowing where to start. “What a mess!” she thought.
As she wandered into the kitchen she saw that most of the things had been put away and her mom and brother were sitting at the new kitchen table enjoying a little snack. When Mom asked how she was coming in her bedroom, Victoria told her it was all such a mess she didn’t know where to start. Mom said, “Don’t look at the mess. Try to see what the mess can become.”
She returned to her bedroom and thought about the mess. Not only the mess in her bedroom, but the mess her family had become since Dad moved out. Everything seemed unfixable.
Maybe there is a “mess” in your family right now and it’s hard to see beyond it. But Jesus doesn’t look at the mess. He looks at what the mess can become. With His guidance and direction, the mess of a family torn apart can become the beauty of a family restored on the solid rock of His love.
Look at Nehemiah as he returned to Jerusalem to find the wall in ruins.
After dark I went out through the Valley Gate, past the Jackal’s Well, and over to the Dung Gate to inspect the broken walls and burned gates. Then I went to the Fountain Gate and to the King’s Pool, but my donkey couldn’t get through the rubble. Nehemiah 2:12-14 (NLT)
But Nehemiah didn’t let the mess deter him. He went back to the Israelites and told them what needed to happen.
But now I said to them, “You know very well what trouble we are in. Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire. Let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem and end this disgrace!” Nehemiah 2:17 (NLT)
Despite the mess, despite the opposition, despite the rubble….the Jerusalem wall was rebuilt in just 52 days with the help of their God.
Circumstances are never so great that they are beyond God’s help. And, as with the rebuilding of the wall, we can see that He does some of His best work in the mess.
Things in your life, your circumstances, your family, may seem like an unfixable mess right now. I urge you to offer this “mess” to Jesus. He goes before you – opening doors, lining up blessings, getting things ready, changing hearts. Look with the eyes of Jesus. Look beyond the mess to what the mess can become. Jesus loves your family and wants them whole again. Never forget that He is right there beside you in the mess.
In Nehemiah’s case, the difficulties of the work brought out the best in Nehemiah and his people. God was quietly changing hearts and lives through this mess. Sometimes its how He works. He brought beauty out of the mess of He Jerusalem wall and He can bring beauty out of the mess in your life right now. Look with the eyes of faith.
For we live by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7
A Stander in Nebraska