Tuesday, May 22, 2012

A Big Mess

It was worse than I thought. The torrential downpour had made a mess of our creek and pond. It wasn't unusual for debris from upstream to clog the pipes draining into our pond. But this time, hundreds of tree limbs and logs filled the creek, forming an impenetrable dam. Where to begin the clean up process?

The more limbs and leaf debris I removed, the angrier I became. Clearly, someone who lived upstream had put their 'junk' pile too close to the creek and the heavy rain had carried it into the water and swept it downstream to end up on our property. Ugh! What a big mess! The kind of mess that would take all day to clean up.

The process was painfully slow. Remove all the debris from the creek, load it into a cart on our lawn mower, and finally dispose of the leaf litter, limbs, and logs on the other side of our property. I had plenty of time to think. Time to reflect on how grateful I am that the Lord cleans up my 'messes.'

You know the kind I'm talking about.

That critical spirit. 

The selfish attitude. 

The feelings of pride. 

All 'messes' that need attention. 'Messes' that I'm often oblivious to. But when the storms of life come, my 'messes' come to the surface, and I realize I'm in need of help.

As I humble myself and turn to my Heavenly Father, He's faithful to use His Word to clean up each 'mess' I offer Him. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness," (1 John 1:9; KJV). Now that's a comforting promise!

His Word has much to say about my critical spirit.  "And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye," (Matthew 7:3-5). As I agree with the truth of God's Word, and submit to Him, He enables me to examine my life and helps me take care of my shortcomings, rather than being critical of others.

What about selfishness? God's Word deals with this topic as well, "Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others," (Philippians 2:3-4). When this truth makes it to my heart, I can focus on the needs of others.

The Lord hates pride. When I give the Lord His proper place in my life, I view things the way He does, "The fear of the Lord is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate," (Proverbs 8:13). I can see the destructive nature of pride and the mess it creates, "Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom," (Proverbs 13:10). I understand what happens when I give in to pride, "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall," (Proverbs 16:18).

It doesn't matter what my 'mess' is, when I recognize it and relinquish it to my Father, He cleans me up and restores me!

Are you dealing with a 'mess'? Confess your sin, and allow the Lord to clean you up today!

Prayer: Heavenly Father, Thank You for Your willingness to forgive my sins. Help me identify the 'messes' in my life that need to be turned over to You. Forgive me for being critical, selfish, and prideful. Thank You for the truth of Your powerful Word that is able to keep me clean. In Jesus' name, Amen.

*I'm hosting over at Living by Grace today. Come join in the discussion!


  1. Maria, I always enjoy your devotions!

    1. Wonderful to see you Terri! Thanks for stopping by and leaving such sweet words of encouragement! Have a great day & God bless!

  2. Lately I feel like i'm always fighting a critical spirit that zeroes in on the faults of others. Thanks for reminding me to take care the many faults that I have and then I'll be too busy to notice anyone elses.

    1. Hi Ann! Thanks for your honesty and words of wisdom. I find it funny that the things that bother me in others are often the very things I struggle with. And you're right - when we concentrate on purging our own faults, there's little time to notice the faults of others! Have a fantastic day! God bless!

  3. Oh yes, Maria, those messes!!! And we create them ourselves, huh? Or at the very least we make a small one grow into a HUGE one!

    Aloha! --Cheryl

  4. Aloha, Cheryl! Nice to have you stop by! Yes, I have to admit that I've created a lot of my own messes. It's good to know that the Lord can even clean those up, when I turn them over to Him! Have a blessed week! Hugs!