I keep a card in my wallet that says “Jesus is not afraid of the messy stuff. The I AM has your back!”. It reminds me that the God we serve wades deep into the mud of our messes in order to redeem, rescue, and restore. And blessed-be my swamp-diving Savior, because my actions sometimes snowball into serious mess-ups and my unwise decisions have at times left truckloads of issues in their wake. The muck of life that me, everyone else around me, now has to deal with. What have I done? How could I do that again? When will I learn my lesson?
In Psalm 40:12, David cries, “For troubles without number surround me; my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see. They are more than the hairs of my head, and my heart fails within me.”
Preach it, brother.
If you’ve ever been there (or are there now), take courage my fellow mud-flecked (or blobbed, or thoroughly splattered) brother or sister, you are not without a Redeemer. In the same Psalm, David declares:
He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. – Psalm 40:2 (NIV)
The God that lifts us out of the miry clay, sets our feet upon a place with surer footing that the shifting sands– Jesus Christ Himself. God not only rescues us, but gives us a foundation to build our lives upon that is not of this messy, messy world. This is a foundation of steadiness, surety, and security found in Jesus Christ and in Him alone.
Today, you may find yourself in a place of feeling like you’re drowning in the messiness of life. Maybe the mess is not of your own making, but you are the one that has to face it. Or maybe your own choices have created all sorts of ugly consequences that you wish you could undo. Remember the God that does not shrink back from the messy stuff.
Consider the way Jesus starts and ends His life on earth. Born in a manger, surrounded by animals and their excrement. Despite Mary’s best efforts, likely covered with blood and placenta and dirt from the birthing floor. Humble Savior, Loyal King. Now, look to the cross. See the Son of Man with a whip-ripped back, covered in the spit of His accusers, blood seeping down from a mocking crown of thorns. Dirty, sweaty, dying. And here, He willingly heaps on a greater filth, a stain of our own that we could not wash clean; here, He takes on the sin of the world. “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God”. – 2 Corinthians 5:21. Bottom line: there is literally no one that got dirtier than Jesus.
Don’t believe the lie that you’re beyond rescue because you’ve sunk too far, too low. The lie that Jesus isn’t interested in descending to the depths of where you find yourself. The Bible assures us, that even if you made your life a living hell, He would go there to rescue you (Psalm 139:8). He’s not afraid of our messes, He’s not afraid to get down into a pit to carry you out of the filth and muck of life.
In fact, Jesus specifically stands up for the fact that He is the One that is willing and able to lift us up out of the pits of life. Challenged by sneering Pharisees on the legality of healing on the Sabbath, Jesus declares: “If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? How much more valuable is a person than a sheep!” – Matthew 12: 11,12a (NIV). This is a Savior who WANTS to get us out of the pits of life. Messes that we were born into, messes that we stumbled upon, messes that we’ve made ourselves — Jesus is not afraid of the messy stuff! Turn to Him, He’s been waiting…