Some Messes Are Better than Others

I wouldn’t have even remembered it if it hadn’t come up again the next day. The person who picked me up in the morning to drive me to my next destination told me a friend of hers that I’d met last night had called this morning to tell her how much my parting words had encouraged her. I scoured my brain to remember what I had said and came up blank.

“You don’t remember,” she said.

“No, I don’t.”

” As you hugged her you whispered, ‘I love the mess you’re in.'”

Now I remembered. It was only a passing comment, but somehow it had found a receptive heart. I really enjoyed this couple and their courage to follow Jesus even though some of their friends couldn’t understand the journey they were on. Many wanted the husband to quit his vocation and be their pastor, but he had refused, preferring them to follow Jesus and love each other rather than be managed by him. So their decision wasn’t popular and had caused some to begin to look down on them.

I love those kinds of messes. No, they are not fun, but messes created by our following Jesus are good messes to be in. He does wonderful things in our hearts even through the faulty judgments of others. Other messes, created by our own selfishness, failings, or arrogance aren’t such good messes. Oh, Jesus redeems us in the midst of them too, but I don’t love them so much.

That’s why some messes are better than others. Some storms you sail into because you’re lost, trying to save yourself and that takes a lot of rescue and rebuilding. I’m blessed Jesus does that. Other storms come up as we are following him, and while we don’t necessarily enjoy the mess, we can rest knowing it isn’t one of our own choosing.

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6 Comments
  1. Jeff N April 25, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    Thanks Wayne,
    I have been gaining appreciation for the ‘messes’ in and around my life for the past few years. I used to avoid them as much as possible but then the Lord showed me that they all had purpose and that I could not grow and develop properly without them. As I began to at first face and then even embrace what I perceived as trials in my life, I began to realize a new found freedom and liberty where there had been fear and control. Glory to Jesus!

  2. Jeff N April 25, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    Thanks Wayne,
    I have been gaining appreciation for the ‘messes’ in and around my life for the past few years. I used to avoid them as much as possible but then the Lord showed me that they all had purpose and that I could not grow and develop properly without them. As I began to at first face and then even embrace what I perceived as trials in my life, I began to realize a new found freedom and liberty where there had been fear and control. Glory to Jesus!

  3. Mar April 29, 2011 at 5:12 am

    Thank you for this thought … we followed Jesus into a conflict with church leaders that resulted in being shunned and publicly shamed, just as our Savior. It hasn’t been easy to recover spiritually and emotionally from this spiritual abuse. It is easy to doubt whether we were following Jesus or being rebels as the church leaders claim. Your thought “messes created by following Jesus are good messes to be in” ministered to me today. It brought me back to why we took our stand originally, and that was to follow Jesus’ command to love one another. We saw others being dis-loved and spoke up about it, and that began our journey into the mess …

  4. Mar April 29, 2011 at 8:12 am

    Thank you for this thought … we followed Jesus into a conflict with church leaders that resulted in being shunned and publicly shamed, just as our Savior. It hasn’t been easy to recover spiritually and emotionally from this spiritual abuse. It is easy to doubt whether we were following Jesus or being rebels as the church leaders claim. Your thought “messes created by following Jesus are good messes to be in” ministered to me today. It brought me back to why we took our stand originally, and that was to follow Jesus’ command to love one another. We saw others being dis-loved and spoke up about it, and that began our journey into the mess …

  5. Len P April 29, 2011 at 11:37 am

    I can say Amen to Jeff N’s comment. I always assumed my messes were something that showed God’s displeasure and a need for me to get right with God so I could be saved from them. It was after rereading He Loves Me, it struck me that my focus continues to be on “save me” type prayers instead of “God being glorified”. Changing my focus has suddenly made all the difference. How can our Father not answer that prayer without His loving care, affection and best interests for us at the same time! He wouldn’t be glorified otherwise!

  6. Len P April 29, 2011 at 2:37 pm

    I can say Amen to Jeff N’s comment. I always assumed my messes were something that showed God’s displeasure and a need for me to get right with God so I could be saved from them. It was after rereading He Loves Me, it struck me that my focus continues to be on “save me” type prayers instead of “God being glorified”. Changing my focus has suddenly made all the difference. How can our Father not answer that prayer without His loving care, affection and best interests for us at the same time! He wouldn’t be glorified otherwise!

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