We all have a “white picket-fence” ideal of our lives: stability, prosperity, and healthy relationships. Like me, you probably expected to achieve your ideal life by walking with God and following His ways. What happens when tragedy strikes, and nothing but broken people remain? How do you cope when your expected image of your life is shattered and it can’t be put together again? Divorce, a child caught in addiction, or bitter tensions have created a chasm between you and your children.
Have you ever thought, Is this really MY life?
I feel shock and despair when I see how far my life is from where I wanted it to be. Sin is a mess, and it compounds as we sinners interact.
A few years ago, I sat in a dark room humming my youngest to sleep while processing my life. I was feeling disappointment, grief, and anger with the Lord. Other people’s choices had scrambled my life.
This is not the life I planned, God! I’m angry! It’s devastating to see my children deal with brokenness and messy people!
As I silently cried out in my child’s bedroom, God reminded me that no one actually has a “white picket-fence” life. It looks like it from the outside, but they are sinners dealing with sinners too. Jesus told us “in this world you will have tribulation” (John 16:33).
This old worship song sprang up in my mind:
Heartaches, broken people, ruined lives are why You died on Calvary; Your touch is what I long for, You have given life to me
That’s what I see within and without. I’m broken. You’re broken. Details change, but disappointment is everywhere.
What can be done when life is marred by sin? What do we do when a perfect picture is shattered? Give up? Is there still hope?
God told Jeremiah to observe a potter at work. (Jeremiah 18:6)
…the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel as it seemed good to the potter to make. Can I not do with you as this potter?…Look, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are you in My hand.
Our God is the One who breathes life into dust, makes beauty out of ashes, and works all things together for good. What the enemy intends for harm, God intends for good. (Genesis 2:7, Isaiah 61:3, Romans 8:28, Genesis 50:20)
This is our God, the Redeemer.
What does it mean that He redeems us?
Webster’s says redeemed means to:
- Buy back: repurchase
- Get or win back
- Free from what distresses or harms
- Free from captivity by payment of ransom
- Extricate from or help to overcome something detrimental
- Release from blame or debt: clear
- Free from the consequences of sin
Lord, is redemption like that possible? Can You redeem value from this mess? Can You take this marred vessel and make it into another vessel? Do You still have a future and a hope for my children and I?
I am the LORD, the God of all flesh; is there anything too hard for Me? – Jeremiah 32:27
No, Lord, nothing is too hard for You.
God is not afraid of my mess, and He will make beauty out of the ashes yet.
Let’s cry out together for God’s Spirit to move in the mess! He is able, and He is willing. Sign up on our email list to get a weekly reminder from Fasting Fridays, and share your heart in the comments below. This is a community of praying moms where God wants to encourage you, but also use you!