Finding Victory in Our Messes
I have a confession to make. There are certain areas of my life that are in a state of continual mess. My desk is one of them. I probably shouldn’t admit this, but there is something very comforting about my messy desk. Maybe because it doesn’t demand me to keep a certain appearance of having it all together all the time. Or maybe because it doesn’t nag me to clean it up?
Do you have an area of your life that is in a continual messy state?
I struggle to keep my messy desk organized. One piece of paper out of place leads to a pile, which leads to a mountain of open books, to a point I don’t know where anything is! My messiness impedes progress to move forward in completing projects. I get to the point where my desk is so messy I am forced to organize it. Even though there is a place for everything, somehow in my busyness and distractions my desk becomes messy again. The time I need to organize and put away things is easily replaced by other activities or commitments. I have good intentions to keep my desk clean, but somehow the piles seem to always appear!
My desk is a reminder of how my one decision to not put something away, leads to a big mess!
Can you relate?
There lies a constant struggle within all of us, to keep our lives without messes. Is this a realistic achievement to have a life without messes? I don’t think so. I think messes are apart of our lives, whether they are physical or spiritual. I think our messes are apart of our stories in which God has written.
My mess makes me think of Joseph in the Bible when his brothers sold him into slavery. His brothers did not like Joseph because their father showed favoritism towards him. Their jealousy took a turn for the worse when they plotted an evil plan to kill him. Thank goodness one of their brothers had the sense to spare his life. Instead, they plotted to throw him in a well and sold him to the Ishmaelites traveling to Egypt. The brothers then decided to deceive their father, making him believe his beloved son was killed and devoured by a wild beast. They even killed a goat and dipped Joseph’s coat in blood to show their father, to make their whole story seem more believable (Genesis 37:12-36).
What a mess! Their evil plot to kill turned into a lie, which turned into a conspiracy of deception–selling their brother into slavery! I can’t imagine how their father felt, thinking his son died, but was really deceived by his own sons and didn’t even know it!
Oh, what God can do with our messes.
Little did Joseph’s brothers know, what they intended for harm, God intended for good to accomplish His greater plan (Genesis 50:20). What the brothers thought would be the downfall of Joseph, God used to equip Joseph all for His glory.
Joseph had been a slave in Egypt for about 13 years. In that time he learned much because he was a servant of Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh. He gained favor with Pharaoh when he was able to interpret one of Pharaoh’s dreams (Genesis 41). Joseph’s dream saved Egypt from a great famine that devastated many lands around them. Unknowingly, Joseph’s brothers came to Egypt looking for food, not knowing their brother Joseph was there, in a place of power.
In Genesis 45, Joseph finally reveals himself to his brothers, letting them know he indeed was still alive and had power in the land of Egypt. He was able to spare his family from the famine by supplying them with much food, and land for their flocks and herds.
What an amazing surprise for Joseph’s father Jacob, to discover his son Joseph was still alive! Joseph could have repaid his brother’s with revenge, but instead, he chose to love them despite selling him into slavery. Even though Joseph’s brother’s intended to harm him, God was at work the whole time. He turned the brothers’ horrible decision into one of the most glorious plans ever!
There is Victory in Our Messes!
Can you relate to Joseph’s story?
Have you been in a mess and felt like there was no way out?
I promise you can trust that God is at work in your life. If God can deliver Joseph from slavery making him a powerful ruler over Egypt he can deliver you from your circumstances. Stay faithful in prayer, I promise God is listening! We may not always see what God’s plans hold, but can trust he has something better for us just ahead! (Jer. 29:11).
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