Every mom ever to live in the history of mankind (well that’s my theory anyway) has sighed at least once in her life after walking into a room, stumbling over fifteen different toys and projects scattered all over the floor, and seeing absolutely no children in sight on which to pin the blame. While a half done art project makes my scalp itch, my children do not seem to be at all afflicted with any such sentiments. Partially colored papers, and a thousand pieces of paper cut up for no actual discernable reason seem to be all the rage at my house. Occasionally, I attempt to offer a more logical explanation (other than I might have a stroke in the next 60 seconds if this mess is not cleaned up NOW!) as to why half-finished games and projects are not fun nor conducive for future life skills…sadly my attempts seem to fall rather flat (shocking isn’t it?). Making a mess simply for the joy of the experience is slightly insane in my mind. There must be. A point.
There are some experiences in life that seem to be crushingly pointless. If I am not careful I begin to think of God much like my children, one who makes messes for the fun of it, and randomly abandons the project before the picture is actually complete. That is when my prayers begin to take the tone of a polite whine, “Um, excuse me? Yes, I hate to be a bother, I know you’re very busy, but I think you may have forgotten a few details here?” As if the Creator of the Universe might need a gentle nudge from the all wise (forgot to set my alarm this morning) person of me. It is in these moments that it is best for me to stop looking at God through the context of my life, and look at my life through the context of God.
God works on a scale that is completely, incomprehensibly, God-sized. His plan does not span the meager decades of my life, it spans the entire breadth of time. His purposes are generational, His patience is long, He is past, He is present, and He is the future for eternity. His salvation is equal, His love personal, His truth indestructible, and His attention to detail precise. I am safe with a God like this. If the story is mess, and the mess has no point, no good, no glory, no song, no unmistakable signature of the love of God toward mankind, than the story is not done. He does not do mess, and I will not be the first to break His record.
The God to whom I spoke this morning is the same one who sat on a hillside, surrounded by a pulsing crowd of thousands, who after feeding them with bread and fish, told His disciples to go, and gather up the fragments of bread “that nothing be lost.” Do you suppose that the God who is careful not to waste some crusts of bread, might accidently forget a few years’ worth of happenings in my life? Do you suppose that today might just fall through the cracks of Heaven’s notice? Should I frantically try to get His attention to keep Him from making some disastrous mistake with my life? I should think it would be safe to assume that a soul for whom He died rates more attention from Him than all the crusts of bread in the world. I may confidently trust my fragments of life’s mess to Him, and be completely assured not a one of them will be lost. He has and will go to great lengths to make sure of it.
And so we sit on the hilltop of a new year, with the vantage point of fresh possibilities before us, and the good, great, broken and sad days which everyone has all tumbled together of the old year behind us. Those days to which I am tempted to look and think a complete waste are the precise ones I should anticipate to see again in the future, because it is those wasted days that have also captured the careful eye of God. He will tuck them away, plant them, reshape them, repaint them, put them into a new frame, and one day I will see them again, and be breathless at their beauty.
I may put the full weight of my life down on the certainty of God’s goodness without the slightest hesitation. He who counts the hairs of our heads, names the stars, clothes the flowers, keeps the snow in His treasures, plants and waters the earth, orders the seasons, watches sparrows, directs the affairs of men, humbles kings, and walks with servants will not, and cannot, fail to keep all that I have committed to Him.
2 Tim 1:12 “…for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.”