A few months ago I posted a blog entitled, "Blessed Messy-ness", describing some of our interactions with the precious children at the Mango Tree Centre for the Disabled in Tonga.
Today's post takes us not to Tonga, but back here to New Zealand, for more blessed messy-ness.
At Kids Club on Sunday night we experimented with a new recipe for homemade "Softer-Than-Clouds Play Dough" : cornflour and hair conditioner! Strange, but it works! Only two ingredients needed for this heavenly stuff.
Despite the lengthy clean-up process and getting our money's worth out of the vacuum, all the kids remarked that it was one of their favourite activities of the night. (An added bonus of creating the play dough is that it leaves your hands silky and smooth!)
Now don't worry. We did more than just make a royal mess of the church worship facility; we also participated in our usual "Prayer Box" prayer time, practiced our memory verse for the month, and discussed the characteristics of a godly mother. We even made some quite nifty Mother's Day cards.
Sometimes (quite often, actually), life is messy. There really is no way around it. Plans fail, people disappoint you, you disappoint others, ends don't seem to meet, decisions are difficult, and it all feels a bit cluttered. The residue of sinful and stupid choices or natural disasters or just plain tough stuff seems to leave an annoying film on everything else in your life.
And yet, in the midst of the mess is where you find the Creator God. I don't know if you've noticed, but He's ingenious really, surprisingly skilled at crafting, moulding and mixing seemingly bizarre ingredients to fashion something far more beautiful and helpful than you expected. They key is to meet the Creator in the mess and fight the urge to clean everything up yourself. We humans are terrible custodians at times, entirely unable to give ourselves a good washing.
We need a God who can forgive us our sins, cleanse us from unrighteousness, respond to our prayers and do life WITH us every single day of our lives. Only when we allow God access to our mess, can He clean us up and turn things around for our good.
Let me clarify and tell you plainly. Trials in life do not automatically make you stronger. In fact, some can wreck you and cause serious damage if left unattended. What you must do is surrender your difficulties and messes TO God so that he has permission to make a Romans 8:28 a reality, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose."
This then is "Blessed Messy-ness".