The other day, I was feeling particularly frazzled and tired when a lovely picture popped up in my Instagram feed. It was a hand-lettered sign illustrating Lamentations 3:22-23: “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithful MESS.”
At least that’s the way I read it in my tired state. I had to go back and reread it because I didn’t remember that passage anywhere in the Bible. I laughed when I realized my mistake but then I reread the passage my way again. I knew that this passage was talking about the Lord’s faithfulness, but applying the misread word to myself: “faithful mess” rang so true.
I am a faithful mess.
And, as I thought more about it, I realized that describes the human condition perfectly. We’re all messes, aren’t we? Oh, we try again and again to emulate our Lord, but somehow we always fall short of the mark. And, isn’t that why we need a savior in the first place? If it were possible for us to achieve perfection, we wouldn’t have a need for Jesus’ amazing gift to us.
I found that I could label every chapter of my life as a “faithful mess”. Housework has never appealed to me. I just can’t get excited about wiping a counter or sweeping a floor (I’ve tried). I don’t notice cobwebs in the corners and if one is pointed out to me I pretend I am decorating for Halloween. But, I do my best, because I believe that the Lord called me to be a mom and I think it’s important to provide a peaceful place for my family to gather. My home is a faithful mess.
I had three kids in five years, and because I am unorganized, our life often mimicked a three ring circus. There was a lot of running around and yelling and to-do piles. But, we made it a priority to teach the kids about God and Jesus and the Bible on a daily basis. We may not have had clean, matching socks, but we studied and prayed every day. We were raising faithful little messes.
I keep my Bible and colored pencils out on a table all the time. It is my plan to read and study it every day. I even bought a chronological Bible that is separated into daily readings. I am currently four months behind. I forget, I’m tired, I’m busy, I’m lazy…the excuses are endless and pretty lame when I stop to think about them. And yet, I know I love the Lord with all my heart. I am a faithful mess.
The lovely artist who created the sign I misread is a mom to six boys. Six boys! Can you imagine the faithful messes that happen in her daily life? Her beautiful postings on Instagram lift my heart. On the days that I am bedridden, her artwork brings me so much joy. I invite you to follow her too. Her sweet, humble words teach me while her artwork touches my soul. She can be found at gracelaced.com, and very graciously allowed me to use her artwork here.
And, to all the faithful messes out there, don’t be too hard on yourselves. God knew we were coming. He knew we would need a savior. And, I believe He loves all our faithful messes.