Today is the day after Easter. My kids have all gone home. The house is clean but empty. This brings tears to my eyes. No matter how much clutter and mess having my children home brings I will still hold that my house needs my children.
As I was reflecting on this I opened the book I am reading by Bill Johnson called “Hosting the Presence”, in the chapter I am reading he talks about people in churches that hope and pray for revival and then leave because with God’s answer of new converts comes the “mess” they bring. We must understand that great moves of God shake up our comfortable “clean” lives Look at what happened to the lives of the Disciples after Easter and Pentecost. When all of a sudden there were 3000 new converts added to their numbers life got messy but amazing at the same time. (Acts 2:41ff)
This is a quote from the book: “My uncle used to say, “Every household needs a two year old.” He was speaking naturally. But the same is true spiritually. Priorities get refined automatically when children are around. Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa made such a choice when confronted with this problem at the beginning of the Jesus People Movement. The members were concerned about their new carpet being soiled by the barefoot hippies. Pastor Chuck told them that he would tear out the carpet then. Priorities. Simple but profound.”
I want to purpose to set my priorities to love people no matter what mess that brings just like Jesus did. He wasn’t afraid of it no matter how many times the religious leaders criticized that he hung out with “sinners”. Could it be it was because he saw the people as his children or potential children. “But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, (John 1:12 ESV) I want eyes to see people that way, focusing on the relationship or potential relationship not the mess.
Lord, help me always see past the mess (because, by the way, with you it is cleanable) and see with your eyes of love. Could this be what you meant when you had Solomon write “Without oxen a stable stays clean, but you need a strong ox for a large harvest. (Proverbs 14:4 NLT)
Today my house and maybe my life and church are too clean. This brings tears to my eyes.
God send me and my church some new “children”