(Sorry...didn't get any "before" pictures of the messy room)
All her toys were put away and the floor could be seen again so I pulled out the vacuum cleaner and had just turned it on when the little flitter bug bounces back into her freshly cleaned room. She runs to one side of the room and turns around to survey the cleanliness of her precious abode and excitedly jumps up and down and declares with a triumphant tone, "Mommy, you did it!!" And as she dashes out of her room once again, this exuberant statement trails behind, "Thank you for cleaning it all up!" Be still my heart. What did I do to deserve such a grateful child? It's in those moments when the discomfort of being 18 weeks pregnant, crawling around on the floor on my hands and knees, and the frustration of where to put this or that diminishes and I think to myself, "I would clean it all up again, endure the discomfort all again, just to see the elation on your face and hear the sincere gratefulness in your voice." I think it's a beautiful picture of how Christ sees us, too.
Sometimes we can make a mess of situations. Sometimes we get ourselves into a mess, maybe we didn't even ask for or create. We don't know where to really begin in the clean up process. We look around at the mess and feel its just too big or too much. It looks hopeless and we despair at what we live in. Sometimes we need to ask for His help to begin the process. Maybe by asking for forgiveness. Maybe by declaring your need and dependence on Him. Maybe by confessing your failures or mistakes and telling Him that you can no longer do this on your own. Sometimes you may not need to ask. He may take the first step by removing one thing from your "room". It could be the catalyst that sets you on a new path seeking Him and then He begins to show YOU how to clean up some of your mess. Either way, you won't have to do it alone. He'll be right there beside you, helping you, showing you what step to take next. And when He gives you a clean slate, a fresh pallet and a new life, I know how His heart must feel when you give Him the glory and you praise Him for "cleaning it all up". I think its in those moments when He can look at us and say, "It was worth it, all the excruciating pain, the heartache, the torture and the torment, I'd do it all again for you to love Me, adore Me and recognize Me for what just took place in your life."
I want to live with that heart of thankfulness and gratefulness, everyday. I am beyond thankful to be a parent and get these glimpses of how God sees me as His child. It has truly helped me see through His eyes. It has helped me forgive even myself at times. It reassures me constantly how much He does love me and how much He wants good things for me. I may not have always been given the best example of a father in my earthly father, but God, my Heavenly Father, has been all the example I need.
If you're at a difficult place in your life right now, uncertain of your place in this big world, feeling unloved or unwanted, let me encourage you today by simply saying, there is a God who loves you, adores you, waits for you with open arms; who wants to pick you up, clean up your messy life, give you a brand new life and set you on a path full of purpose and joy. All you have to do is ask Him. His sole purpose is to bring you into His family. There's no better place to be.
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!"
2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV