A Beautiful Mess

“The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart-- These, O God, You will not despise.”

Psalm 51:17  

Sitting on a spin bike at the gym an ad came on got my attention. It was one of those ‘before and after’ pictures of someone who has gone through a transformation? Some are not even recognizable due to the extreme change they have undergone. In this case it was due to weight loss. It seemed like the worse off a person was, the more likely they were a candidate for the transformation this program offered. After all, what weight loss company ever uses a person who lost a whopping 3 pounds in a year for an advertisement campaign.

It seems as if broken, weak, and seemingly undesirable people make for the best transformations. What is true in the world of weight loss advertising is equally true within the Christian life as well. 1 Corinthians 1:27-31 puts it like this, “But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence. But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God--and righteousness and sanctification and redemption-- that, as it is written, "He who glories, let him glory in the LORD." The focus of the worlds idea of transformation is individual accomplishment whereas the focus of biblical transformation is the glory of God.

God majors in transformation and is seeking people to change from the inside out. The world focuses on external’s claiming that if you change the outside of a person they will feel better on the inside. That method provides temporal satisfaction at best. The transformation God seeks is one that focuses entirely on the inside so that it is clear our value isn’t in the external and the temporal but on the internal and the eternal. It was Charles Spurgeon who once said, “God can use inferior persons for grand purposes. He has often done so. Go into his armory and see how he has worked by flies and lice, by worms and caterpillars, by frogs and serpents. His greatest victories were won by a hammer and a tent pin, by an ox goad, by the jawbone of an ass, by a sling and a stone, and such like. His greatest prophets at the first tried to excuse themselves on the ground of unfitness.”

When Jesus said in Matthew 5:14-16, “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Jesus wasn’t saying shine the light on yourself but rather allow the light from within you to shine forth so people on the outside can see that it is God who made the good works possible. And here is the beautiful catch. The more broken you are the more light you shine forth. The world reflects an external light source, a temporal outward beauty whereas the light that Jesus speaks of originates and radiates from God and shines forth through all the areas of our lives where we are weak, broken, and humble and relying on Jesus.  

As people who are following Christ today, we have the joy of proclaiming to the world that we are a beautiful mess!  Isn’t that what the apostle Paul was proclaiming in 2 Corinthians 4:7 when he penned the words, “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.” Clay pots, broken cisterns that may leak but are made full all because of the presence of God.

Don’t focus on your flaws and limitations today, loved one. Instead, celebrate what God can do in and through you because of His awesome power. Remember, You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you! Yes, you might be a mess in the worlds eyes but what a beautiful mess you are in eyes of God, His workmanship, His work of art (Ephesians 2:10).

“And He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

2 Corinthians 12:9-10


Michael Osthimer




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