God in the Mess


hawaii-volcano-landscapeSome days I am simply amazed that God, the Creator of the Universe and all that is in it, wants to be in relationship with me, a finite, fallible human. Today is one of those days.


Before the Israelites entered the Promised Land, God foretold their future rebellion to Moses.


“Now therefore write this song, and teach it to the Israelites; put it in their mouths, in order that this song may be a witness for me against the Israelites. For when I have brought them into the land flowing with milk and honey, which I promised on oath to their ancestors, and they have eaten their fill and grown fat, they will turn to other gods and serve them, despising me and breaking my covenant. And when many terrible troubles come upon them, this song will confront them as a witness, because it will not be lost from the mouths of their descendants. For I know what they are inclined to do even now, before I have brought them into the land that I promised them on oath.” Deuteronomy 31:19-21


God knew their inclination to turn from him before they ever set foot in the land. He knew they would adopt the beliefs and practices of the people of the land, forsaking him. The interesting thing to me is that he let them enter the land anyway. Wouldn’t it have been easier to just leave them to die in the wilderness and find some other way to reveal himself to humans? Yes. God could easily have revealed himself without using humans. But the point is he didn’t. God chose to use fallible, whiny, selfish humans to carry out his purposes on earth.


Even though God knew the Israelites would ultimately rebel, he still allowed them to be a part of his plan for the salvation of humanity. The same is true for us. We will most definitely screw up and say the wrong thing or make bad decisions, but God is there even in the messes we make. In fact, he is in the business of making beauty out of our messes. I have found this to be true in my life, and we see this time and again in Scripture. Just read the list of people in Jesus’ ancestral tree. It is definitely not a list of saints.


Today I am grateful that I get to be a part of God’s story in spite of my imperfections (as hard as it is for this perfectionist to admit!). And the next time I feel like I’ve made a mess of things, I will take comfort in the long line of imperfect-mess makers God has used to carry out his plan in the world.

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