Are you one of those people that like to get creative when you cook? Maybe you substitute an ingredient or add a little more of this or a little less of that. I’m afraid I just don’t have the knack for inspired cooking. When I go off recipe, I get chocolate cakes that look like brownies, lemon meringue pies that look like pudding and pasta salads that look like soup. The truth is, sometimes I make yucky food. When your kids are young you can tell them that’s the way the food is suppose to be, but your husband knows.- Husbands always know- that all you really did was make a mess.
After decades of periodically making yucky food, I’ve learned to be a food doctor. I’ve washed pasta salads, plopped ice cream on flattened chocolate cakes and handed out spoon for the slushy lemon meringue pies. Disaster avoided.
But lives are not as easy to doctor up as food. Lives can appear to be beyond repair. A life plagued with addiction, adultery or abuse can be such a waste. Damage has been done, people deceived, love ones neglected and trusts broken- typically not once but over and over again. More time than we care to admit, the people living in these messes are Christians. Yet for all foreseeable purposes, we often believe nothing good can come from the yuckiness in these people lives.
But Jesus begs to differ. Jesus specializes in messes. Jesus died on the cross to not only buy back your souls but to buy back your messes. Jesus wants to reach down into the messiest lives and yank out the darkness and replace it with light. But how can the cross fix these messes?
The thing that messed up lives need is hope.
2 Corinthians 1:10 says of Jesus He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us. Once Jesus gives you His greatest gift by saving your soul, He’s not done with you. You can place your hope that Jesus will continue to deliver you from messes, especially when you invite Him right into your mess.
But the hope Jesus brings to a messed up life is not false hope, but genuine hope. Many people living in lives invested with addiction, adultery and abuse have false hope in their own ability to get out of their mess. They say, “Don’t worry. I’ve got it under control.” When really, they’re out of control. But it’s the hope from Christ that begins to introduce the idea of “maybe”.
“Maybe my way’s not working.”
“ Maybe there’s a better way.”
“ Maybe I could live without the secrets.”
“ Maybe there’s hope for someone like me. “
Christ enters a messed up life as a glimmer of hope, planting seeds of strength and possibility. Let Jesus doctor up your messes and the messes of those you love. Believe that Jesus can turn every mess into His delight. Just hang on to the hope and to the “maybe’s.”