I have been following a speaker now for a couple of months that I was "introduced" to when he spoke at the university that I used to attend. His name is Josh Riebock. Josh is someone that has really made me think. God comes through him in such a fresh and real way. I mean, each time I listen to him speak God shows me something of myself. Well, tonight I am finally reading his book 'mY generation'. I have to share this with you....
"He came to be Emmanuel, God with us. God involved. God in the mess. He lived to enter our lives and get our mess on him, and he did. The cross is, of course, a vividly violent picture of this. On the cross, along with his own pain, Christ took and felt ours. He felt the shame and guilt of our sin. He put our mess on him, he got messy, and though we weren't created to clean up anyone's mess, we are created to reflect Christ by entering the lives of others and getting messy." (pp 87)
When I think of what Jesus did for me, what He went through for me, I am rendered speechless. How can He love me so much that He would endure all that pain and all that torment for me, a sinner. He knew that it was going to get messy, and on many occasions. Sometimes, actually more often than not, it would be the same mess repeated. "Really Kim, again....come let Me love on you! You are never alone My child." That is how my Father responds to me. Whatever the situation I find myself in, whatever mess I have made of myself this time, He pulls me up onto His lap and He loves me. So how can I respond any differently to another??? How can I willingly turn away from one of His children when he/she is in need? Is there really such a place as too messy? Is there really that time when I would be able to turn my back on another individual and say that I cannot or will not offer all of me?
I remember many times over recent years that I cried out for help. I knew that as far as I had allowed myself to run from God, I really wanted Him. I had no idea how to get there. But because of my "mess", many (yes, even those that called themselves Christians)shut me out. They didn't want to deal with the pain I was wearing...they didn't want to see the addiction that held me...they didn't want to see pieces of reality that weren't an easy fix or that couldn't be considered Godly behavior. What did this do? Well, it made me believe that I was unlovable, undesired, not worthy, just really a wasted piece of flesh in a cold cruel world. Praise God, He broke through!! He put me in the middle of people that weren't afraid to get messy. He put me in the middle of people that weren't ashamed to call me friend. He put me right up on His lap and made that broken little girl (even though I was grown)a promise that He would never, never leave her alone again. Because of this great love, I came back to the Lord. I know real love. I know God's unending grace. I know real friendship. Most importantly, I am now able to love the "messy" with a love that I cannot describe. All I know is that because others got messy with me, I can now give that to another. By the grace of an all loving God, this life was made new.
1 John 2:7-8 "Dear friends, I am not writing a new commandment for you; rather it is an old one that you have had from the very beginning. This old commandment - to love one another - is the same message you heard before. Yet it is also new. Jesus lived the truth of this commandment, and you also are living it. For the darkness is disappearing, and the true light is already shining."
Lord I thank You for this reminder tonight and I pray that You continue to fill my heart in such a way that I won't be afraid to get messy, Lord, but that I will instead pour myself and Your love into each individual that I encounter.
to listen to Josh's podcast, go to http://www.joshriebock.com