i could come to this place in my life and focus on the one thing that seems to dog my every step,
you will mess up.
there will be a myriad of reasons, sweet ones. there will be circumstances beyond your control and there will be details that are very much a part of you and the action you take.
it's just how it is.
and you can take a look at your mess and feel hopeless.
like you have messed up so badly that there is no way to fix it.
i think i was there.
no, that's not true.
i know i was there.
you may know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God has placed a call on your life. made it clearer than anything and you keep taking the next step forward each day because you know, eventually, you are going to get there.
and then, you trip.
you land flat on your face.
you drip with the mess you landed yourself in.
and the one who deceives, he comes close and he whispers those words that sink deep and your heart will sink deeper still.
and you may think that all you are good for is to be placed high up on that shelf of the broken,
and that focus? the one that zeros in on the mess?
it will keep you there.
my bible study leader, miss sue, the one who keeps placing me at her table each session, she finds me and tells me to come again for the next one. who cares that i have a newborn! didn't i know how many arms would hold her?
so i go, and i soak it in. i soak in the message of mercy and i let God get to the tender places that fester with hurt and pain and, dare i say it, anger.
but still i believed, no matter how wrongly, that sure, He can get to those places, heal them and clean them up, but now i'll just be a cleaned up, healed up, broken and useless screw-up saint high up there on the shelf.
that's how it works, isn't it?
oh - i pray that i show you differently.
i pray that you all see it differently than i ever saw it.
because He is becoming what i crave - i can't get enough of Him. this Jesus who continually takes your mama-who-messes-up every. day. and He keeps bending down in the sand and writing out that plan. He does. He really does.
and this is what i learned in that study on james:
he was one of the Lord's brothers who mocked Him and called Him mad.
he was the half-brother of Jesus who didn't believe, but became the head of the Early Church in Jerusalem.
he messed up.
all those years, growing up with Jesus, living life with Creator God and he didn't see. he didn't see His Savior standing shoulder to shoulder with him.
instead, he called Jesus crazy.
but even then, God had a call on his life.
it never changed.
it never wavered.
"for I know the plans I have for you", declares the Lord, "plans for welfare
and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. then you will call upon Me
and come and pray to Me, and I will hear you. you will seek Me and find Me
when you seek Me with all your heart."
you aren't going to take Him by surprise when you mess up.
He already knows.
no, it probably would have been best if you don't make the choices that you will, that maybe you should have looked a bit closer at the path before you tripped and fell, but where you can only see a bit of the road ahead, He sees the whole world held in His Hands.
if you find yourself dusty and hidden high up on a saintly shelf, know this - Jesus didn't put you there.
so climb down - wrestle with Him if you have to, let Him work out in you what needs to be worked out. you may find yourself limping afterwards a bit, but keep walking, little one.
the path ahead of you is all part of His plan...