11/12/2017

Brandon Leitnaker

Last week I said something to my kids, that once I heard it come out of my mouth, I realized how extreme of a statement it might have been. After discovering that my kids had made a mess of their rooms that I had just cleaned the day prior, I said something like this, “I am so tired of the mess!” My first thought when I heard myself say this was, “Man, I sound like my parents,” but once I got over that hilariousness, I paused and thought, “Why am I so surprised when my kids make messes?” It dawned on me in that moment that kids are just naturally messy, and I should not be surprised if sometimes they create messes in their lives.  I’m not saying they can do whatever they want and destroy the house, but it is foolish of me to think they will always stay mess free.

In one of my favorite kids’ movies, The Incredibles, the main character Mr. Incredible has a line that for some reason has always stuck with me. He says:

No matter how many times you save the world, it always manages to get back in jeopardy again. Sometimes I just want it to stay saved, ya know, for a little bit. I feel like a maid, I just cleaned up this mess. Can we keep it clean for ten minutes?

This train of thought makes complete sense coming from a superhero who has been granted the task of saving the world, but in reality, I am always curious if God ever has this same thought when it comes to us. We are a people prone to create messes, and not simply in the physical sense, as in a messy house or car, but also relationally and spiritually. We are just messy people with messy lives. Does God grow weary of cleaning up our messes? Although my heart may at times feel like He does, I know the answer to this question is absolutely a big ole no. At times, you may have wondered whether God gets tired of you and tired of your mess, but I believe the gospel story and the message of God throughout scripture tells a much different story. The gospel story of Jesus tells us of a God who stepped into the mess. He left His glorious place in heaven, came down to us in the form of a man, and died a human’s death on the cross to bear the full brunt of our sinful mess. This is not a story of a God who is weary of cleaning up our mess but a God who owns the mess, even though it is not His (2 Corinthians 5:21). He lifted us “out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire” (Psalm 40:2) that we were in, cleaned us off, and showed us a better, cleaner way of living.