When I clean out the pantry, or the closet, or the basement, it’s a mess. Everything has to come out, in total chaos, to be sorted through and then put back in order.
It feels like the Lord has been doing that in my life lately.
He’s been taking out all the tidied up stuff and making a mess –so that He can put it back in right order. This has been chaotic, but a blessing.
In the meantime- here’s my brain:
That’s not how it usually looks. I’m a neat-freak with my thoughts too. But that’s how I keep things in order.
And I love order.
So the whole God-making-a-mess-to-clean-it-up-better thing has been….troubling.
I can’t remember which day that major event happened on. I can’t recall if I paid her back. She told me about a difficulty that I did pray for then, but today I can’t remember what all that was about to ask how it’s going.
No one is dying because I can’t remember these things. I’ve found ways to figure out the answers. But the disorder makes me feel like I’m failing. So I find myself praying for grace.
And that’s weird.
I’m praying for grace in stuff that I’m not making mistakes in. That aren’t sin. Because it isn’t sin to have something slip the mind or to have to look something up. Yet grace is needed, and not just for me.
Grace is needed in many situations, not just after you’ve messed up.
We need grace because of how we’re made: imperfect. Flawed. Limited. Insufficient.
You and I know this. We sense it because when we feel that our circumstances are plaguing us or our efforts aren’t enough, we call for grace. We ask God to be gracious with us because we aren’t worthy and we aren’t able. Yet God’s grace was sufficient for Paul in His weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).
What about in yours?
Romans 11:6 also hints alludes to the nature of grace: “But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace.”
Isn’t that wonderful?
We get to: “Let us then approach God's throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). Not just when we mess up or make mistakes. The Lord knows we need His grace all throughout times of need –and success, joy, change, challenge….
Think on this: “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect” (1 Corinthians 15:10). That’s why grave is about more than covering up sin: it’s about His transforming us and being in relationship to our limited, flawed persons.
The famous verse “draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:8)? That comes right after we’re told that God opposes the proud and favors the humble. Those words come after these: God “gives us more grace.”
Grace. Grace. Grace.
Allowing room for imperfection, humbly recognizing weakness, accepting who we are and submitting to His will that we might transform in His power….all a part of living in His grace.
Come to think of it...when I clean out a closet and have to make a mess in the process, there is a grace period. A full 30 minutes or so in which the chaos is perfectly acceptable because it's necessary and helpful.
Are you dwelling in grace amidst your own disorder and chaos today?