Thursday, December 05, 2013

No Need to Despair

In the building where I work, there are two nice rugs at the door for wiping feet so that mud doesn't get everywhere. Sometimes the rugs get missed and there’s a mess to clean up. Other times the rug itself gets quite messy, as it’s been pretty muddy around here.

My dad loved the quote, “if all I ever do is look down, all I’ll see is feet and mud”.  

The woman who manages the building has to keep it clean, so she has to clean those muddy messes up and keep those rugs looking ready to use.  No one really knows how much everyday cleaning she does to keep things looking good and keep us from having to walk through the mud. Without her to clean them pretty soon we’d all be tracking dirt and leaves everywhere.  We probably take her for granted because it’s always done for us – all who work in the building and all who come in to conduct business in the offices inside our building.

Life can get messy. We can get bogged down in it. Pretty soon if we’re not careful all we’ll see is the mess – feet and mud. Our countenance begins to show our discouragement and we can’t get our eyes off the mess.  We may try to clean up our own mess. We try to wipe our feet and leave it all behind. Not possible. We’re not made to clean up our own junk. We don’t have the right tools or the right equipment.  We’re destined to remain downcast and full of mud if we don’t look to someone who can clean it all up for us.

That One is Jesus.  He came specifically to clean up our messy lives. He begins with giving us a new heart, which in turn gives us a new outlook.  All our sins are not just swept under the rug but swept entirely away.  But we live in a real world, with continued exposure to mud.  We can’t eliminate it entirely for even if we keep ourselves clean others bring mud around us. We get hurt, we feel pain, and great disappointments shovel themselves in our paths.  It becomes a mound of dirty stuff and we can’t get over it on our own.  Jesus comes in and sweeps those hurts away. His Word is His broom and mop, shovel and pail.  We call on Him and He sends His Word and His Spirit to help us.

God is even more wonderful to us. We see that pile of muddy situations as a distraction and so much interference.  But God sees it all as an opportunity for us to grow in faith, grow in knowledge and grow in grace. Even the messiest of situations can be refurbished into magnificent moments of God’s loving care.

Oh beloved, whatever you are facing this holy season remember that Jesus is with you. He walks before you clearing the pathway, He goes behind you keeping the enemy at bay and He surrounds you with the Holy Spirit who will guide you and refresh you every single day.  Don’t take this for granted, but take it all as opportunities to give Him praise and glory. He loves you and He’s for you and that, precious one, is your greatest gift, not just at Christmas but all through the year.

Psalm 42:5 Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him For the help of His presence.

Psalm 44:3 They did not conquer the land with their swords; it was not their own strong arm that gave them victory. It was Your right hand and strong arm and the blinding light from Your face that helped them, for You loved them.

Titus 3:5 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit

Colossians 2:14 Having cancelled and blotted out and wiped away the handwriting of the note (bond) with its legal decrees and demands which was in force and stood against us (hostile to us). This [note with its regulations, decrees, and demands] He set aside and cleared completely out of our way by nailing it to [His] cross. (Amplified)

Psalm 103:12 As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

2 Corinthians 5:21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.

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