My Mess is My Message

I make no apologies for the fact that I am craft-challenged. I stand in open-mouthed amazement when observing those who whip out from their imaginations beautiful creations with nothing but raffia, glue guns and glitter.

Last night I joined friends to create bleach pen designs on shirts. I had mine all mapped out because the words were long and I just knew I would end up without enough room if I weren’t very careful. So I was very careful about the spacing, but I moved it too soon and the letters touched each other so their bleach joined other portions of the shirt, causing little white blotches and patches. Considering what I wrote, the end result was really quite appropriate: “I am a frequently failing follower of Christ.”

Before we began one dear saint saw my markings on the shirt and inquired as to the words I was going to write. When I told her she said, “Oh no, but you’re not!” “Oh yes, I am,” I replied. “I fail him many times every day.” “Well, but, don’t you think we should keep that to ourselves?” she asked. “Absolutely not!” I answered. “I think we need to be far more honest about it within the Christian family than we are!”

I thought of that woman’s children and wondered if they were ever able to acknowledge their failures to themselves, their mother or their God. If we go about “keeping to ourselves” the fact that we continue to sin after we are born again, we present a totally inaccurate picture of the amazing, extravagant grace of Jesus Christ. We most likely have left the grace of God at the cross where we were grateful for the salvation it provided, but have missed the intervening years of its wondrous power to lift us up when we fail, dust us off and keep us moving ahead in peace and joy, with power and motivation to keep trying to obey.

I am currently wallowing in the truths of 2 Corinthians 12:9-10, “He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”IMG_2618

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