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Behind the mess

SETTING THE PACE / Living life with an eternal perspective

As you might know, I have many children. Seven to be exact. With lots of children comes lots of messes. I feel there is always something that needs to be picked up or cleaned. I shared in my article last week, we adopted two babies three years ago, which has only increased our propensity for messes. I love our children, but they are messy.

A few weeks ago, one of my little children, spilled their drink in my car. As a parent, you love when this happens (insert sarcasm). As I began cleaning the spill, which got virtually in every small crevice of my car, I was not very excited. What seems to be a small spill at the time, turned into a much larger mess than I imagined. However, as I began to deep clean the mess, I discovered a surprise. Apparently, at some other time, unbeknownst to me, one of my children had spilt something else that had not been cleaned. As I removed moved the chair back as far as it could go and removed the floor mat, I discovered a past mess. Who knows how long this had been there? It also needed to be cleaned.

I got everything cleaned up and got back on the road. As I was driving, I had a thought come to me. Had my child not spilled their drink, I may have never discovered the other mess that had already been there. That mess would have stayed and potentially caused more problems. As odd as it sounds, one mess led to the discovery of a deeper mess, which caused me to be grateful. I was able to clean both of them up and have a better smelling and better looking car because of it.

This is such a great lesson to learn. Sometimes a small problem leads to the discovery of a greater problem that results in both being able to be addressed. I have heard countless stories over the years of people who went to the doctor for a small medical issue, only to discover that there was actually something bigger happening in their body, and had the little issue not happened, the bigger issue may have been discovered too late. The point is, sometimes God uses small trials and challenges in our life that may be initially annoying or inconvenient, to help us deal with something greater. The Bible says in Romans 8:28, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for the good of those who love Him and who are called according to His purpose.” Our great and awesome God uses many different things to get our attention and help us stay on the right path of love for and obedience to Him.

The next time something happens that is frustrating or upsetting, take a moment and thank the Lord. It could be that God has allowed such things for a greater purpose. We do not always understand why things happen the way they do, but 1 Thessalonians 5:16 says, “Rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” I do not know about you, but that is hard to do. It is easy to rejoice when things go well. It is easy to give thanks when we get something we want. But, it is hard to do those things when life is more difficult. I am learning to see God in the mess, behind the mess, and beyond the mess. I want to become a person who simply rejoices, trusts, and obeys God in all things. I believe one of the best ways Christians can be an example to the world is by living a life of thankfulness when circumstances make it hard to be thankful. Our hope must be in the Lord! When we truly trust Him, we even learn to see His goodness behind the mess. See you next week!

Jeremy Freeman

www.pastorjfreeman.com

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