Here has been my last couple of weeks...
First of all, about 3 weeks ago, my fairly new washing machine broke down. Any woman knows that this is a huge inconvenience. Top that off with a struggle to find the original receipt of purchase so we can get the work and parts covered under warranty and you have one annoyed mama! Next, my kids decided to be sick. My son had an intestinal issue Monday morning (yuck!) and then my daughter threw up all over me on Monday night (double yuck!) It was literally on my face! With no washing machine, my husband had to haul pukey clothes to his dad's house to use his washing machine while I cleaned the carpet in my underwear. Even more annoyed and now disgusted mama! Tuesday started off in the right direction, but then my dishwasher began leaking all over the floor and down into the basement. Great! Then, on Wednesday, my daughter woke up with a fever. Wow! All of these events have really put a damper on my week. Oh, and by the way, my family is coming for a visit on Friday! We've all been looking forward to that for a month, but it is the "interesting" timing of these events that really just makes this mama say, "Enough already!" and "I give up!" Needless to say, things have not been blooming around my household lately.
We've all heard the saying "when it rains it pours" before. And you know what? Things could definitely be worse. However, it is often the little annoying things that really get us down. We start nit-picking on the little things that are going wrong around us. One downpour after another after another and our eyes are not focusing on God anymore. All we see is the bad weather around us. We see the gloom, not the bloom.
Well, since we can always turn to God's word for encouragement, that is what I did. God's word is great about giving us a new perspective. And when I searched for some positive words, He did not disappoint. I have just recently read Hebrews chapter 11 as part of a Bible Study. (Awesome, by the way. It describes heroes of the faith and tells why they are esteemed by God.) Reading about all of those faithful men and women of the Bible was encouraging. I almost felt like I was hearing a powerful sermon/testimony of God's faithfulness. (Check it out!) But it is the verses that follow this chapter that are encouraging me today, in the midst of my mess.
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith" (Hebrews 12:1-2)This passage of scripture told me exactly what I needed to hear. I need to strip off my issues (sickness, annoying appliances, a huge to-do list) and focus my eyes on Jesus. He is working to perfect my faith in Him. Today, I am choosing to see how God is going to work through my mess. If we look for the ways He works, we will see that nothing happens without a reason.
It is by keeping our eyes on Jesus and living our lives with endurance and in His strength that we can bloom in the bad times. Even in our mess, God can still use us. In fact, a bloom in the midst of a mess is always more beautiful.
What about you? How do you "bloom" in the midst of your mess? I'd love to know!