Tuesday, January 7, 2014

A mess of my own doing

I am an occasional seamstress, a stitcher of necessity.  I mostly repair seams that have come apart, small tears, and replace random buttons, those literally hanging onto life by a thread.  A small pink plastic bin holds the things I need such as needles, thread, rick-rack, and pieces of past projects that might come in handy.

It is, indeed, a mess of my own doing.

A couple of weeks ago, the seam of a winter coat needed repair, a gym bag handle required reinforcement, and an old quilt called for a quick mend.  I pulled out my old sewing bin and promised myself this year I will get it organized.  I pushed a few things aside, looking for the right color of thread, a near-impossible task.

And there at the very bottom of the bin, right in the middle of the mess, a small metal cross appeared.  How did that get in there?  What is Jesus doing at the bottom of my mess?

Since the beginning of the new year, I have listened, prayed, and counseled so many close friends who are holding tight to Jesus in the face of great tectonic heart aches, financial situations, and "I-don't -know-what-to-do" circumstances.  They are dealing with bins of deep regrets, unraveled intentions, straggling threads of failure, broken zippers unable to hold anything together, messes of their own doing and undoing, and the blunders that just seem to follow all of us around and gang up at inconvenient times.

What does Jesus have to do with this overwhelming situation?  How could He possibly help me now?

But this is why He came.
We are all in one fashion or another
 caught up in a knotted mess
          at the bottom of a miry bog of despair,
              a weary wilderness journey,
                a lonely place of exile,
with no way out.

But that is where Jesus meets us.
That is where Jesus lives.
Because that is when we utterly,
        turn to Him.

And that is when the redeeming

At the bottom of despair,
at the end of my rope,
        His grace is revealed.

It is not that "it will all work out."
Or even, "God will work it out."
      God is already working.
      He is already there.
God doesn't just resolve the problem,
   but He redeems it
                    all the way through.

But You, O LORD,
      are a shield about me,
my glory,
              and the lifter of my head.
I cry aloud to the LORD,
and He answers me from His holy hill.

                          Psalm 3. 3-4

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