Tuesday, October 18, 2016

God's heart in the mess

Someone returning to the storm-ravaged coast sent me a picture of debris cut from the road.

“Did you see it?” she asked.

I did. In the middle of all that stormy mess, a heart shape in the tree trunk.

In a new Bible study by Priscilla Shirer we’re doing on Jonah, we’re talking about messes, too.

Like what can happen when God gives us instruction as He did when he told Jonah, the prophet to Israel, to prophesy to Nineveh, and instead, we like Jonah, immediately head in the opposite direction.

Ticket for one to Tarshish, please.

We can think we have our lives all mapped out as Jonah did, and then an unexpected interruption comes and like him, we start fighting against it.

It’s right about then, that God might invite us to wonder if what seems like an interruption might really be divine intervention.

“Are you ready to get swallowed by a fish called Grace?” Priscilla asks.

The answer to that might sometimes be, “No, I’m not. I want my regular life back, the life I had planned.”

We can put our plans ahead of God’s will. But even then―God’s heart is in what seems like a mess.

"Not until he (Jonah) received a divine interruption did he develop a life story that made a stamp on history,” Priscilla observes.

Way beyond what we have planned, God has plans for us.

“God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us” (Ephesians 3:20-21 The Message).

God’s heart is in the mess, our mess to bring about more than our ability to imagine.

Priscilla again. “Most biblical people who made a lasting mark in Christianity had a point in their lives where they stood at a crossroad. They had to decide to yield to divine intervention at the cost of their own plans or continue on their own path instead.”

So, wherever we are in our journey, whatever mess we may be in, we can always adjust to follow God, because as you may have heard, his heart is in the mess.

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