After Matt and I had been dating for a few weeks he invited me over to his apartment and I suggested I could bring stuff to make dinner. Of course I brought steak because I wanted to impress the man. We planned for the following Sunday evening. There is nothing like seeing how the guy you are falling in love with takes care of his place. Several weeks after our lovely evening, Matt told him he cleaned his small apartment for 6 hours before I arrived. I had been impressed by how clean it was. My take away…I was worth cleaning up for!
This year has brought some new decisions in our home. One has been to have a house cleaner about once a month. Cleaning stresses me and takes more time away from my girls than I want to spend. It is not relaxing or stress relieving, but coming home to a clean house has a way of rejuvenating our family and re-setting our priorities. It is a luxury for sure, one I do not take for granted. However, sometimes, if I forget until Sunday night that our housecleaner is coming on Monday morning, I run around the house picking up and driving my family crazy.
Matt asked the first week we had someone come why we needed to pick-up. “Isn’t that why we have someone clean the house?” No, I informed him. If we didn’t pick-up she would have no surface area to clean. Cleaning up the messes in my home is not my strong suit. I have a kitchen full of dishes while I ponder this thought.
When disappointment with ourselves overtake us, we hid our messes from Jesus.
It is true in my life. When messes I create in relationships, or emotions, that I deem ridiculous, stay on the forefront of my mind, or tiredness overtakes my ability to make wise decisions, I begin withdrawing from Jesus. I become disappointed with myself and I hid. I shove the mess into the closet and make life miserable while I quickly try to clean up clutter in my spiritual life before sitting down for a quick “everything is great” quiet time.
I hope you know the amazing story Jesus tells about the lost son in Luke 15. The son makes some bad choices. His life is a mess. He has made terrible decisions. He was far from home because of those choices. For our purposes, he was far from God.
Verse 17. When he came to his senses, he said “How many of my father’s hired men have food to spare and here I am starving to death.
To summarize the story (please read it on your own) he took the smelly (I’m guessing he needed a bath), hungry, tired journey home, preparing what he would say to his father. He had no assurance, in his mind, of how his father would respond. The father, on the other hand, was waiting for him. His father ran to him. He threw his arms around him and prepared a feast, calling him “son”.
The mess we bring to God pales in comparison to the measure of His love for us.
The son in our story tries to deny his worthiness. Verse 21: The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you, I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
A great posture of repentance to have when we approach the throne of God, but what I want us to see today is that the father did not reclaim his as his son because of that posture. The son did everything to make life a mess and took advantage of the father’s love but he remained worthy of the Father’s attention and affection. He belonged and he was lovable. His worthiness of being called son was never a question for the father.
And for us, our worthiness is not dependent on a put together life, a mess shoved in the closet or a full vulnerable view of who we might think we really are. We are daughters of the Father God, the Most High. As hard it is for our minds and hearts to absorb, let’s begin living like in that worthiness! When you find yourself in a mess, take it to Jesus right away so He can remind you “Daughter, let’s have a party and we’ll clean it up together!”