How can our messiness be transformed into messages? How can God turn the messiness of our lives — our unpredictable left turns, our head-on collisions, and even our self-inflicted speeding tickets along the way — into messages of his love for others?
As we saw in our study together Sunday, the story surrounding Jacob’s highly dysfunctional family is a prime example. And once again, the Bible pulls no punches — it doesn’t attempt to hide the sins of multiple wives, deception, dishonesty, jealousy, selfishness, passivity, pleasure as a primary objective, and the daily attempts to orchestrate and manipulate life in directions against God’s will rather than letting him do the driving.
Even though Jacob had two wives — Rachel and Leah — let’s not entertain the idea that God was OK with it. As Pastor Scott told us, just because it’s in the Bible doesn’t mean it’s the Lord’s design. If anything, the polygamy grieved God not only because it was a direct sin against him, but also because of the resulting envy and sorrow and anger that polygamy brings among his beloved creation. God wanted — and still wants — the very best for us, and when we invent ways of doing life that ultimately aren’t the best for us, of course it saddens the Lord to see the pain that such decisions bring.
Yet out of that incredible messiness, Leah — the wife Jacob didn’t want — bore sons who would form the tribes of Israel. And that genealogy went all the way to Jesus — our salvation.
Whenever we attempt to deemphasize God’s role in our lives and do things our own way, the Lord isn’t hamstrung. He has no limits — and there are no limits to how high and deep and wide his love is, despite our lack of love for him. As Pastor Scott noted, God works in our lives despite ourselves and despite our humanistic tendencies. He’s the maestro who orchestrates to perfection amid our bum notes and out-of-tune instruments.
So, if you’re in despair because you don’t think God is working in your life, or you’re stuck in sorrow over bad decisions you’ve made or bad habits you just can’t seem to break, be encouraged — for just as God worked through the messiness of Jacob’s family to ultimately bring about our salvation through Jesus, the Lord certainly can do that and more in our lives. And whether you’re aware of it or not, he is!
More than that, despite whatever pit you perceive yourself to be in today, believe it or not God wants your life to be a shining beacon to those who still don’t believe in him. Ask God today how he can help you give him the glory by sharing your life with others in all its messiness. If you need to repent of the path you’ve been on, then repent — and then move forward. If you don’t see that God is working in your life, ask him to reveal to you the good things he’s doing — and then move forward.
Your messiness can — and will — be a message to others, too!