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Embracing the Mess

The other day I needed to run out to pick up a couple of items for one of our production units. Instead of taking the interstate home, I decided to take a slower but more picturesque route. Along this way, a couple of the roads are either under construction or have recently been renovated. One road in particular was rerouted and repaved to remove a cumbersome intersection.

Since these roads are local to our home, I’ve watched the workers go through the multiple phases of construction. The process usually starts with surveyor crews mapping out the landscape so the architects can plan the phases of construction. Normally they will move any utilities first. This phase can almost go unnoticed depending on how much has to be done.

Next comes the grading process where the crews will use bulldozers, diggers, backhoes and a variety of other equipment to prepare the foundation of the roadway. This process often requires large amounts of earth to be moved and at times, the need for rock and gravel to be brought in to make the way straight. This is the hardest phase and often the messiest…add a little rain and it just gets that much worse. When they enter the heavy construction stage I remind myself how nice it will be when it’s all completed.

Our walk with the Lord is no different than a construction project. There are many phases to the process of molding us into the image of Christ. Some are harder and messier than others. Once surrendered we must place our faith in His design. When the process gets hard, that’s when we must remind ourselves how nice it will be when it’s done.


Embracing the Mess
by Os Hillman

“Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty, but from the strength of an ox comes an abundant harvest.” Proverbs 14:4

My wife and I run together through a new home subdivision. Often we see the street filled with red clay from the land as bulldozers clear it to lay a foundation. The job site is littered with lumber, all sorts of trash from workers, and is generally a mess. The house looks ugly; it has all its insides exposed as it is being pieced together, yet this process is necessary to get to the finished product. When completed, the home is beautiful. The landscaping looks like it came out of a home-design magazine. Everything is clean and perfect in order for the new homeowner to move in.

Our walk with God is much the same process. Often we must go through a messy period of our lives in which all aspects of it are in disarray. It is in these times that God builds a new structure. He might remove some structural timbers in our lives and replace them with new ones. He might even add on another room. And unless this process takes place, we will never see the end product. The goal is more Christlikeness. In order to achieve this in us, He requires a period of removing all that is not of Him. It can be a painful process.

It would be impossible to keep oxen in a barn without having to clean up the mess from time to time. It just comes with the territory, but the result of the oxen is an abundant harvest. God may be allowing a mess in order to ensure a fruitful harvest in your life. Learn from Him so that you might experience the fulfillment of His purposes for you in these times.

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