A Mess of a Life?

Do you think you've made a mess of your life? Do you find impossible the thought that God could be glorified by or pleased with your life? What if I told you that God can fix any messed up life? What if I told you that God loves the challenge? What if I told you that God loves you right in the midst of your messed up life? What if God is not against you, but rooting for you, and is not ashamed to call you "friend"? How would that change your view?

I've felt this way many, many times over the past five years, and have many more times questioned my presence on-line and on this site. People kept telling me that my past should not determine my future; but, to me, my past was so very despicable that I thought I didn't deserve a future -- that what I deserved was to live in shame for the rest of my life, to never experience a healing in my mind and heart, to never enjoy the rest of my days on earth.

But then my therapist informed me of a truth that I will never forget. He said that, unless I find a way past this shame, I will, for the rest of my life, be more apt to repeating the poor choices I had made that led to this sad state in my life. That was my A-ha! moment. The cycle of fear and shame was fueling distorted ways of thinking; and, unless I refused to live in shame for my past behavior, I would continue making the same poor choices.

He then asked me about my faith. He asked me about the central element of Christianity. "What is it?" he asked. I answered: "Forgiveness and redemption by grace through faith in Christ." He said, "So, if God forgave you and does not bring the offense to light any longer, why are you still living in it?" I was convinced that I had made a mess of my life that was irreparable, broken beyond repair. But God had other plans in mind for my life.

Now, those plans may not be turning out like some had hoped, and I understand the bewilderment of most of my acquaintances. But think about my life in this way: God saw me through the most difficult, most embarrassing, most distorted time of my life. By the grace and mercy of God, I did not turn away from faith in God, nor from the church. I gave the Lord a mess of a life and God decided to mold it in another fashion. (cf. Jer. 18:1-4)



Perhaps you think that your mess of a life is a worse mess than mine -- that God wants nothing to do with your mess. Well, I don't believe that. God has taken the mess of murderers, helpless prostitutes, pitiable drug addicts, deplorable pedophiles and perpetual adulterers, and turned their lives into a portrait of beauty. There is, if you will, no mess of a life so messy that God cannot transform and redeem it and thereby bring honor to Christ.

You may have made a mess of your life. But what of it? Don't live in that mess anymore. By the grace of God decide that you will give God your mess and trust the Lord to turn it into a wonderful, well-ordered blessing, for you and for those around you. On the worst day of your life, during the worst period of your mess, what you do not want to do is to give up hope, to think that your life will always be like this, and to imagine that God wants nothing to do with you. That is not true. There is always hope; these bad days will pass; and God loves you. Seek help where you can. But don't fear giving God your mess of a life.

4 comments:

Hugh Krone said...

Yuor best yet

The Episcocrat said...

Thank you, my friend.

Jennifer Stumpf said...

Love this post.

The Episcocrat said...

Thank you, Jen! As much bitchin' and complain' that I do on this site, I guess this is a breath of fresh air, lol. Love you!

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ABOUT WILLIAM BIRCH

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My name is William Birch and I grew up in the Southern Baptist tradition but converted, if you will, to Anglicanism in 2012. I am gay, affirming, and take very seriously matters of social justice, religion and politics in the church and the state.