Monday, November 11, 2013

The Message in the Mess

 "Jesus answered, This happened so that the power of God could be seen in him." (John 9:3, NLT)

Orville Redenbacher would have shrieked in dismay at the sight on the floor.

Pieces of popcorn littered the floor in all directions looking like a small hailstorm had blown through the room just minutes earlier.

We had just celebrated my son Jon Alex’s 16th birthday party. For months we had planned for this big day. His profound special needs severely limit him, but we wanted to celebrate and honor him in a huge way.

So the DJ played, the throngs of kids with special needs rocked out, the food was over-the-top, and the party rolled. I sat with my son feeding him popcorn and watching kids in wheelchairs and walkers doing the limbo and forming a conga line.

Jon Alex is on a fairly restricted diet; so air-popped popcorn is one of his favorite snacks. He was snatching it out of my hand in clumps faster than I could reload. Mouthful after mouthful, one after another, he ate the popcorn.

I could tell he was really enjoying the scenes around him as he munched away. The only problem was that his limited motor skills, in conjunction with my feeding methods and his hurried approach, resulted in only about a third of the bag actually making its way into his mouth. The remainder of the bag’s contents would eventually make their way to the floor or on him.

So when I tell you he had six bags of popcorn at the party, it was really more like two as four bags worth fell on the floor around us or all over him.

Simply put, my son had made an absolute mess! But with his special needs he wasn’t capable of cleaning up the mess himself.

Dad had to step in.

No judgment, no harsh words, no rush to condemn. I cleaned up the mess he was in, because he couldn’t do it himself.

That’s what dads do. We come alongside and take care of the mess. All of a sudden I was struck by the lesson God had just showed me. God had just taught me an important lesson about grace,

Grace is God the Father doing for His children what they can’t do for themselves.

Our lives are a mess sometimes right? Doctor’s appointments, therapies, medical bills, IEPs, finances, insurance battles, not to mention the every day chaos we face.

Despite our best efforts to hold it together, despite our best efforts to manage and cope, despite our best efforts to survive- sometimes we just feel like we are wallowing in a mess and we can’t get out.

And like a helpless child, sometimes you just can’t clean up the mess on your own.

That’s what God means by grace. Surrendering your problems to Him, admitting you have made a mess of things and can’t do this on your own, and allowing Him, like the Dad He is, to come alongside you and clean up your mess.

In our lives there are hard scenes that we would prefer to skip over. We wish life had a DVR remote control and we could just skip ahead of the bad stuff. But sometimes the hard scenes are the one where God wants to most demonstrate His glory, as your story becomes part of His story, and His grace is revealed.

PRAY: "Father thank you for your overwhelming and amazing grace. Thank you for stepping into our messes with us and lifting us out of the pit. We pray today for your strength to sustain though this journey."

1 comment:

  1. I LOVE this and was so humbled by your thoughts on is sooooo true! I help with a special ministry for adults at my church and am telling everyone to read this blog. I get it by email and look forward to being so encouraged and being able to pray for you. Lynn