Posted by: kathryngraves | October 19, 2012

In the Middle of My Mess

“Then, the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.'” John 20:19

Haywire. Ever have one of those days when everything goes wrong? My friend, Willis, had one last Tuesday. He went to another city for a convention, got ready to drive home, and ran over his laptop computer. Somehow, he’d left it on the ground by his truck. I started today off-kilter. I wanted to take some hot tea with me to art class. So, I set the teakettle on to heat while I brushed my teeth. It began to whistle before I finished brushing, so I dashed to the kitchen with the toothbrush in my mouth. I had to try to hold the toothbrush with my left hand so I could pour with my right hand. I guess you can imagine the mess I made. Because I was running a bit late, I dashed back to the bathroom to clean up, grabbed my supplies, and ran out the door. Upon arriving home from class, I thought it felt awfully warm in the kitchen. A light caught my eye, and I glanced at the stove. A green word flashed at me. It said, “HI.” I’d left the burner on! The only good thing was that I had set the teakettle on a warmer instead of back on the burner. Whew!

Worse than haywire. These are incidents that are inconvenient, costly, or potentially devastating (what if my house had burned down!) but not life-threatening. I recently met a man who became a Christian in an Eastern European country in the 1980’s when it was still part of the Soviet Union. He risked his life to be baptized. The pastor risked his own life by going to a lake and staying in the water while baptismal candidates snuck, one at a time, through the forest to the lake. As soon as each was baptized, he ran back into the woods and another ran out to the lake. The man I met had to hide his wet baptismal clothes when he got back home because his father was a party official. But he accidentally forgot his socks. His mother found them, threw all his belongings into the street, and kicked him out of the house. He was twelve years old.

Help. The disciples were in a mess. Their lives were at stake. the Eastern European man I met was in a mess. His life was at stake. When I faced cancer, I was in a mess, fighting for my life. And when Willis ran over his computer, he was in a mess. It doesn’t matter what our messes look like. Jesus still comes into the middle of them and says, “Peace be with you.”

Listen. We all know how easy it is to panic or blow up or break down when things fall apart. Just remember, Jesus is in the middle of your mess with you. And he says, “Peace be with you.” Let’s be all ears.

Photo/”Morning Sunbeams” by Evgeni Dinev/FreeDigitalPhotos

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