God can tolerate messiness and disorder. Bless my heart, I just can’t. There is just no pretty way of saying it. If the pillows on the couch are askew then I feel compelled to straighten them. If I am sitting in the recliner and notice a picture that is crooked, I will make a mental note to fix it as soon as I get up. If there is a weed in the grass, I am pulling it. I have very little tolerance of chaos.
God, on the other hand, is fine with chaos. Think about creation. I can’t imagine that it was perfectly orderly. Or when His children, the Israelites, were wandering through the desert for 40 years. Was their journey perfectly organized and planned? I doubt it. Most likely there was so chaos and confusion.
Like many women, there are times when I feel moody. Grumpy. Sometimes despondent. When I feel like this, I want to do something fun to make me happy. Watch a movie. Make cards. Eat something yummy. Somehow reading my Bible and spending time in worship doesn’t sit atop the list. It should, but it just doesn’t.
When I have my quiet time in the mornings, I am distracted. It’s hard to focus. I think of the sweet worship that I had two weeks ago, and I feel guilty because I’m not feeling that joy and peace today. Sometimes I just want to finish up with God so that I can get on with my day. That is the brutal truth.
This day, when I came into God’s presence, I came with apologies once again.
I’m sorry that I’m distracted.
I’m sorry that I am just going through the motions.
I’m sorry that my soul (my mind, will, and emotions) are just a rumpled mess.
I imagined my soul as a rumpled blanket. Tied into knots. Torn. Tattered. Choatic. Messy. Not a perfectly damask tablecloth holding up four place settings of Oneida china. Instead, an old used piece of cloth that just needs to be untangled, washed, and ironed. Ouch. It sounds painful just thinking about it.
As I was in God’s presence presenting my tangled mess of a soul, I asked Him to fix me. If something were a tangled tattered dirty mess in my house, I would get right to work on making it clean, untangled, and orderly. God spoke to me so sweetly that He was okay with me being a tattered mess. My rumpled, tangled emotions did not disturb Him. They did not irk Him. He did not have to climb down off His throne and fix me right this second. He was just glad that I was in the room with Him. Messy and all.
That doesn’t mean that God won’t fix me. He just does not feel an immediacy as I do when I encounter chaos and disorder. God knows that if He “fixes” me too quickly, it will hurt.
Imagine if you had a head full of long luxurious hair. You have spent the day at the beach and you were swimming in the ocean. When you got back home, your hair would be wet and tangled. If you just grabbed your comb and started at the top and combed it out, it would hurt. Ouch!
This process can’t be rushed. First, you have to shampoo your hair. Then, you condition it to make it feel silky. Then, you towel it dry and brush it out with a brush. Finally, you smooth it out with a fine tooth comb. If you do these steps out of order, you will feel a lot of pain.
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God deals with us tenderly, just as a mother who is bandaging up her child’s skinned knee. An abrasive swipe could induce a lot of pain and lead to distrust. God takes His time and bit by bit unravels the tangled knot of our emotions. He’s not in a hurry….He has eternity to spend with us.
God can deal with our messy emotions for a day or two while He gently speaks His truth to our hearts.
He doesn’t want us to not come into His presence when our lives are disorganized and cluttered and chaotic. He just enjoys being with us in spite of the condition of our souls.
So we come anyway, tattered emotions and all. And we sit on His lap while He patiently heals us.