Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Perfect Mess

Reading Sarah Mae's post for today, "When failure is heavy like a downpour," reminded me of a book I read by Lisa Harper last year. Once you've taken a moment to read Sarah's post, come back and see how Lisa's message relates.

Unfortunately, often our faith doesn’t penetrate to our unfavorable feelings about ourselves.” – Marva Dawn

On those days when french fries and napkins litter the floor of your car, when you think bad words about other drivers, when your smile hides an anxious heart- in those moments when you fall short of all you’d hoped to be- what does God see when he looks at you? In your less-than-lovely moments, God sees a precious daughter (or son) in need of His perfect love.

You don’t have to worry about being good enough for God. He adores and transforms imperfect people. He is a loving Father who remains your greatest champion, even when you don’t feel anywhere near close to holy. What happens when we stop trying to hide our inadequacies and doubts from God and others? What happens when we trust God with our anger, frustrations, flaws and regrets? As you accept God’s loving invitation to exchange your mess for His best, you’ll find the imperfect pieces of your life shaped into a glorious pattern of divine grace. You’ll find joy in Him!

The psalms wonderfully solve the problem of a praise-deficient culture by providing the necessary words to praise God.” – Philip Yancey

The most valuable thing the Psalms do for me is to express the same delight in God that made David dance.” – C. S. Lewis

What does Psalm 1 reveal about us avoiding potholes in the path of life? It shows  that God’s love frees us to steer clear of the path of destruction and walk with Him in joyful obedience.

What does Psalm 62 say about wriggling out of the trap of wrong expectations? It teaches us that God’s love frees us from meaningless rules and religious propriety constructed by people. We can live authentically and abundantly by relying on Him instead of ourselves.

How does Psalm 139 describe the way God sees beauty behind our blemishes? It teaches us that God’s love frees us from performing so we can relax and rejoice with the assurance that He knows us completely and adores us just as we are.

A ‘yes’ to life means an honest recognition of our own evil, but it is also a ‘yes’ to God, who in the midst of our evil sustains us and draws us into his righteousness.” – Richard Foster

What does Psalm 51 reveal about deep cleaning in our dirty hearts? It shows us that God’s love frees us from the muck and mire of guilt so we can walk in the sweet fragrance of forgiveness.

What does Psalm 42 say about dealing with our ugly emotions? It says that God’s love frees us to grieve honestly while never losing sight of the supernatural hope we have in Him.

What does Psalm 8 say about God partnering with imperfect people like us? It says us that God’s love frees us from self-centeredness so we can take on worthwhile responsibilities that can be accomplished only through His strength and wisdom.

What does Psalm 34 reveal about being grateful for God’s ability to unsnarl the tangles in our lives? It shows us that God’s love frees us from our fears so that we can live with thankfulness, contentment and peace- even amid the roughest storms.

How does Psalm 23 illustrate that our Shepherd compels stubborn sheep to rest? It teaches us that God’s love frees us from frenzied lives and compels us to rest- even those of us who aren’t naturally inclined to recline.

How does Psalm 119 shed light on this supernatural love letter called the Bible?
It shows that God’s love frees us from stumbling around trying to navigate life on our own, giving us practical, lifesaving guidance and a clearer perspective on our circumstances through his Word.

What does Psalm 149 and 150 suggest about how rhythm-challenged people can master the smooth moves of praise? It says that God’s love frees us from worrying about our lack of rhythm and polish so we can dance with abandon in praise of His goodness.

Notice that all of these Psalms point us to God’s love and reveal its freeing power in our lives. God’s love liberates us from our strife! Our striving to be perfect for him and attaining approval from others. It frees us from the burdens we place on ourselves. Jesus said, "Come to me all you who are weary; you who labor and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11:28

The Lord’s chief desire is to reveal himself to you and, in order to do that, he gives you abundant grace.” –Madame Jeanne Guyon

Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you as blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty and authority before all time, now and forever. Amen.” Jude 24-25

No one is more solidly in our corner than God himself. He lifts us up, dusts us off, and cheers us on in the ‘messy’ race of life.” – Max Lucado

A Perfect Mess will cause you to breathe a sigh of relief. Finally we are assured that we aren’t the only ones who need encouragement as we stare in disbelief at the chaos of our lives. Thank God for his reassuring presence (and cleansing grace).” – Priscilla Shirer

A Perfect Mess deftly applies the ancient truths found in Psalms to our very frazzled, contemporary lives.” – Liz Curtis Higgs

Lisa reminds us that although we may be messy, our heavenly Father has big arms and doesn’t mind getting dirty.” – Chonda Pierce

                                 *All notes credited to Lisa Harper, author of "A Perfect Mess"

No comments:

Post a Comment