When His grace meets our messes
Today, I met God at the dishwasher.
I never planned on meeting Him there. But, that's where we found one another.
The distractions of the day up until that point had been too much. I started a dozen conversations with Him, but we never finished. Until, suddenly, I found myself lost in a few moments of peace, and I quietly called out to Him.
I apologized for letting the world's screams surpass His whispers. I apologized for not being able to complete any of our previous talks. I apologized for letting the day and all its pressures tug me so far away from Him.
But the thing is, this isn't the first time we've met like this.
My mess with His grace.
It's a daily occurrence, really. Because, not a day goes by without life's chaos, and not a moment goes by that His grace doesn't find me in the middle of it all.
Sometimes, the wreckage feels so overwhelming and consuming, that I want nothing more than to hide it, or try to find every way to fix it immediately.
But God? He has other plans.
Because, so very often, our greatest lessons of all, and our strongest roots of faith, can be found from, and planted within, life's most unraveled moments. And that's exactly why He's standing by, at a prayer's notice; to meet us right there.
Providing to us an unexpected opportunity to learn something treasured about God's ever-giving mercy. Because, when we give the messes a chance...and when we allow those messes to collide with God's unconditional forgiveness and grace, the transformation tends to become something beautifully unanticipated.
This evening, as I transferred each dirty utensil, plate and cup from the sink to the dishwasher, I found myself falling more and more into Him. Cleaning off each stain and leftover mess; washing it away, before lining everything back up neatly inside of the machine, open and waiting for one final cleaning.
What a real-life picture it painted of His grace in our messy lives.
Sometimes, our messes completely overflow our lives to the point of clutter and distraction that we can no longer ignore; just like the kitchen sink. And when we finally take the time to pour His mercy into the mess, He slowly washes away the sin and extra burdens, until we are finally ready to give into Him. And when we are? He tends to clean away those poor decisions, uncertainties, comparison traps, slips-of-our-tongues; shameful moments... giving them shiny, new life, in a way we never expected. Just like the dishwasher.
Leaving us like a newly-discovered diamond-in-the-rough.
So many times, I question what in the world I did to deserve His bountiful grace. Yet, the answer never wavers: nothing. It is completely undeserving. And His promise to keep pouring it into our messes for a lifetime to come? The most beautiful reassurance of all.
"And the grace of the Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus." (1 Timothy 1:14)