Sometimes life is messy in the middle!
Sure the before and after photo’s tell a story.
Chaos to Order.
Mess to Perfection.
Dirty to Clean.
But often there is a story in the middle that is unseen to most. The struggle, the pain, the battle.
This week my before and after photo’s seem pretty straight forward…..a messy bench to a tidy bench. Nothing complicated or particularly messy about it…..Right?
But for me, there is so much more than what the photo’s show!
You see, the fact that my bench got this messy is not something that happens often in our house. I love having a tidy bench. If my bench is tidy I feel the whole house is tidy…even if it’s not! There is nothing nicer than walking into the house and seeing a clear bench. Mess and clutter drive me nuts and leaving stuff on the bench is something which I can’t stand…..much to the frustration of my family, although they know the quickest way to my heart is cleaning the kitchen for me!
But on this day, I was tired, I wasn’t feeling well and I was also feeling sorry for myself:
Why does no one help me around here?
Why is the place always a mess?
Can’t they see the clutter?
Doesn’t it worry anyone but me?
Why am I the only one who cares around here?
Why does no one love me?
Would they even notice if I fell off the edge of the world?
Does Jesus even love me?
As you can see from my train of thought, things went completely off the rails pretty quickly and all of a sudden I had gone from a messy bench to no one loving me, not even Jesus! Does this happen to anyone else or is it just me? Seriously, I had de-railed so quickly and things had escalated so rapidly in my mind, I didn’t know what had hit me!
Stop and just breathe Kathy…….
Let’s keep it all in perspective. Yes the bench is messy, but that doesn’t mean you are a terrible Mum and no one loves you…..it just means you have a messy bench!
As I sat and got myself together, I thought of Jesus. Of course there are no before and after photo’s in the Bible, but we can read of such stories. In my minds eye, I can see the 5000 starving and then feeling full and happy once they were fed. I can see the anger and despair as Lazarus was pronounced dead, and I can see the relief and happiness when he was once again breathing. I can see the woman with the issue of blood before she touched Jesus and I can see her face once she was healed. The Bible is filled with before and afters.
But, in all these stories, there is a middle that we often don’t see. There is a middle where people felt they had no hope, or they had no answers, some didn’t even know they were in the middle! But in each story there was a middle where there was a battlefield of the mind. Some were small battlefields and lasted only hours, some were bigger battles that lasted years.
Philippians 4:7 reads:
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
So what does all this have to do with my bench? Well, when I get overwhelmed or start to believe the lies of the enemy, I need to remember that God will give me the peace I need. It will surpass my understanding and it will help me to keep it all in perspective. No matter what I am going through, facing a messy bench or facing something a lot bigger God is always with me and He always offers me His peace.
He is there in the befores and He is there in the afters.
And, He is always with me in the Middle, helping me keep my mind on Him and keeping everything in perspective!