You know what no one ever warned me about when having kids?
They turn into backseat drivers!
But like, little confused ones with high, very loud voices, who only understand 1/3 of the rules of the road.
They are very particular about the music we listen to, and they’ve started telling me how to drive and where to go. Most days I give up and let them dictate what Spotify will play (which lately, is Amped VBS and Chain Reaction), but sometimes, I wanna listen to what I wanna listen to, dangit. And some days I just really need some worship music. I need the words and the truth to calm and recenter me. Because, you know, of the children.
Oh, but they aren’t having it. While I’m patiently working to recenter my heart and blah blah, I hear:
“SHE’S SPITTING AT ME!”
“MOM, PLAY ‘I KNOW YOU’RE MOVIN!” (Chain Reaction)
“MOMMY, THE LIGHT IS GREEN! GO! GOOOOOO!” (I am in a left turn, red arrow lane.)
“MOM, PLAY MY SOOOOONG!”
Deep breath. Sometimes. Sometimes not. Then I say – forget it! This is too chaotic and messy to actually make any difference. I play Chain Reaction and they are content for 1.5 minutes.
And that’s what I tell myself… this is too messy. God can’t really be in moments like these. He wants to meet me when I am quiet, in position in a comfy chair or at a coffee shop. After I have worked out some of my junk and cleaned myself up, then it’s time to have a moment with Him.
But as I focused to hear the words of the song in my very loud and not-at-all-calm-car, He said, “Messy moments are valuable to Me.”
We keep ourselves busy in life, trying to clean up. Everywhere. We want our desk to be organized so that we look professional. We don’t invite people over until our house is clean, because, who wants to eat dinner in the middle of your real life? We kill ourselves trying to put together an image that portrays to the world, “I’ve got at least something together.”
When all the while, every single one of us is a mess. We are human, in such great need of love that redeems and makes us who we are, but we are convinced we must be put together in order to be worth loving or even being heard.
I’ve learned that I just don’t thrive in a messy space. I feel calmer, am more focused when things are organized. I’m not actually an organized person, so I’m not sure how this all works together. But I don’t think that God is bothered that I like to be in an atmosphere that is in order. He created me that way. But I do think He’s often bummed out when I miss an opportunity with Him because I haven’t created the “right” kind of moment. A moment that I deem worthy enough of His presence. He doesn’t work that way.
If we create and separate moments that include Jesus and moments that don’t, we are missing the point of His abiding and everlasting love and relationship.
God is not waiting for us to clean ourselves up. He doesn’t care that your house is messy. He just wants to eat dinner with you and hear about your day. It doesn’t bother Him that your children are wild animals at 5 pm and you’re losing your mind. He just wants to be in it with you.
Jesus’ life was marked by running into messy situations. He never chose the easy road. He defied everything people had ever known, and it for sure messed up their ideals that had clear lines. He risked His reputation, His image. He healed on the Sabbath. He hung out with the most unwanted people in society. He showed up – at the well, on the road, when people weren’t expecting it. They did not sit down and plan for their life to change that day.
Is it possible we could be missing a revelation from God simply because we aren’t prepared for the unexpected?
“God clearly shows and proves His own love for us, by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8
That. That is messy.
God has always run to meet us. Nothing about His character or His track record gives us any reason to doubt His presence in the chaos. In your doubt. Your heartbreak. Your anger. He is longing to walk through each of those moments by your side, instead of being put to the side.
Maybe if we worked a little less to clean up our lives to convince others we had it all together, we’d get the hang of it.
In case you’re unsure:
You’re not alone.
Others are doubting.
Others are unsure if they have what it takes.
Others are wondering if anyone sees them.
Everyone needs God as desperately as you do.
It is our mess, our need, our chaos, that boils everything down where we realize we cannot do this thing on our own. We are in need.
So let God in. To all of it. The physical of your car or your house. The mess in your mind – the thoughts that are so tangled up, you don’t even know where to start. The mess of your heart, that feels like little shattered pieces that don’t even fit together anymore.
He is waiting.
Make this your prayer:
“I’m an open book to you; even from a distance, you know what I’m thinking. You know when I leave and when I get back; I’m never out of your sight. You know everything I’m going to say before I start the first sentence. I look behind me and you’re there, then up ahead and you’re there, too – your reassuring presence, coming and going.” Psalm 139:1-6 msg