As I was cleaning up smashed strawberries and bananas off of the floor under my son’s high chair this morning, it hit me…not just the peaches he was chucking at my head…also the realization that life is messy. There’s really no way around this fact. Sure, I’m in the thick of it, with four kids at home and a full-time job and ministry obligations. There’s always something more to be done and some inner voice telling me I’m not doing it all well enough. But I think all of us have an element of “mess” in our lives. It’s that stuff that always comes back, the house, the bills, the relational problems, whatever it may be.
I, for one, tend to rail against the mess hoping if I grimace enough, it will all go away and sparkle in the radiant light of my annoyance. This approach rarely works. Go figure…The better approach would be to realize that the mess has purpose and accept it. The mess serves to make me better and if I’m better at the end of the day, then it was all worth it.
For me, the mess tends to ‘mess’ with my psyche. I am my own worst critic. Consequently, I can be so hard on myself when the mess is too grand for me to tackle in a day. Sometimes, I find myself on my knees in the morning scrubbing day old fruit like this morning, as today’s peaches fly like rockets. And that’s okay.
There’s an odd little story in 2 Kings chapter 2:23-24. Elisha was going about his day and some young dudes decided to mock him and call him “baldhead”. Elisha turns around and looks at them and curses them in the name of the Lord and bears come out of the woods and eat them up. Elisha just keeps on going to where he was headed. Weird right? I’ve heard a lot of commentary on this passage, and honestly, I never thought too much about this passage and just attributed it to Elisha being sensitive about his receding hairline. Plus, how dumb to mess with the man of God! Today, I’m thinking a little differently.
We all have those things that we are sensitive about. Mine is my inability to “properly” quell the messes that confront me. I fight with myself regularly as my internal accuser tells me I’m failing. Today, I’ve learned to stop arguing and just pull an Elisha. When the mocker comes, I can stare it down and curse it in the name of the Lord. I can do this because I know who I am. Elisha was so much more than a bald guy. I am so much more than my mess. So I can boldly stand at the edge of the woods that would seek to drag me down and bury me deep in shame and insecurity and I can call on something higher than myself to deal with the problem. I don’t need to fight my own battles, I need to rest in who I am in Christ and keep going.
I don’t know what mess is mocking you today. It could be flying peaches, anger or even addictions, but I do know this, there is a defender who loves you deeply. He will help when you call upon his name. You never have to face this life alone. I pray your day is filled with cleaning, smiles and bear calling…and those flying peaches may be sticky, but don’t let them bring you down.