For the last week or so my mind has been tangled around this idea of messes in our lives. I guess during 3 am feedings my mind is focused on deeper thoughts than during the day (go figure!).
Question – Have you ever had your secret mess revealed in a way that forced you to take action?
Can you imagine? The one struggle you just can't seem to shake away that you just continually sweep under the carpet…the very thing you tell yourself is “no big deal” but keeps you awake at night…that mess being publicly revealed to those you keep it from?! To most, that would be a nightmare. Yet, to one woman it became a reality in a big way and I wanted to share her story. I'm going to write this coming from first-person…
This is her story…
I know we all have struggles. Mine was just different. Let me explain.
I am a wife to a good man. Our marriage was pre-arranged, but we made it work. He was a good man to me, but I wanted more. I knew my heart was wondering, but I didn't know what to do. How do you tell your husband that you wish he was like someone else? It's just not a conversation I knew how to start.
One day I met him. The absolute man of my dreams and he completely swept me off my feet! Now he knew I was married, but we were just blinded by the mystery and excitement of the moment.
One night while I was with him, our church leaders caught our relationship and of course deemed it as inappropriate. The next morning I was led by the leadership right in front of the service. Suddenly, the man of my dreams was nowhere to be found, yet my husband was front and center. The service stopped. The teaching fell silent. I remember shutting my eyes as my knees buckled and I fell to the ground.
The leaders announced my adultery. It was officially out in the open and I felt the eyes staring in judgement. I had nowhere to go. I couldn't really move anyway.
My mess was out there for everyone to see, judge, critique…I was the scarlet letter of my day.
Yet, Jesus met me, where I was and forced me to do something with my mess. He told me it was forgiven and to sin no more. Just like that, I was supposed to leave all of the emotional baggage, the pain I had done to my husband, my pride…I was supposed to just move on?
Jesus told me I was forgiven and my mess soon became a huge message.
Perhaps you've read my story?
But early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd. “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?” They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust. When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn't even one of them condemn you?” “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.” (John 8:2-11 NLT)
Can you imagine being this woman? Not only was she faced with death, put in the center of a religious debate, judged by her entire town…but she had her mess right in the face of Jesus! I wonder what occurred days after this encounter. Her life was changed permanently, but did others gain hope from this event? Did others understand that their mess could be given to the Great Physician for not only cleaning but eternal healing? Did she live out the difference or did she go back to her old ways?
Nevertheless – remember this friends, regardless the size of your mess that you are holding on to tonight, you can give it entirely to Christ for forgiveness and the freedom to “Go and sin no more.”
The first step to cleaning is finding the mess. The second is determining how to remove it. Don't try to do it yourself…it usually adds to more piles to hand over to Him.
That should give everyone enough to chew on for a bit! More late night thoughts coming soon! Until then, you have my permission to start your cleaning and these messes are not meant to be recycled…handle with care!