Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Maximizing My Messes - Stunned by His Grace

This blogging community is still fairly new to me.  I only began some five months ago, and I have tentatively stumbled and bumbled my way along, trying to learn the "rules of the road" as I go.
As it turns out, there are not too many rules, or at least I have not come across them.  A few of those I've seemed to discern are:
                     Be honest
                     Be kind
                     Be yourself.
(It seems to be a bonus if you have some rudimentary knowledge of the rules of English grammar, and a decent sense of humor.)

With the above in mind, I have also tried to figure out what the purpose of blogging might be - or at least what my purpose in participating in it might be.  

My personal experience, thus far, has been that this can be a rewarding experience involving meeting new people, connecting with like minded individuals in some cases, and being challenged by those who hold very different views from my own in other cases.

And then, occasionally, one may have an "ah ha" moment.  I had one of those this morning, while reading Warren Baldwin's blog Family Fountain.  In his post entitled, Pedigree, he outlines the background of some members in the ancestry of Jesus who had real failures, sins, messes, if you will, in their lives.  And yet, God chose them to be part of the coming of his own Son.

Our human thinking might very well have disqualified those individuals from being part of God's plan.  And many of us have made the same assumption about our own lives.  We may believe that because of  our past, even after repentance and forgiveness, we are no longer fully eligible for godly service. But Warren points out:

They don't realize that their mess may be the very reason God chooses to use them.

Here I hoped that God might, out of his great mercy, use me in some very limited capacity despite my messes.

Never did it occur to me that God might use me because, in his hands, my mess could become a beacon of his mercy to someone else.  I supposed that in light of the fact that I had blown "Plan A" - all that was left for me was a very watered-down, inferior Plan B or C.

So, Warren, thank you, for a new glimpse behind the curtain of God's grace.

And  if you happen to be a "fellow-mess-maker", if you are assuming that you are only fit for limited duty, due to some past mess in your life, I would encourage you to read Warren Baldwin's post entitled Pedigree.

God has a plan - and you and I are part of it.  Now what remains is for us to allow God's grace to clarify our purpose, while his mercy makes us instruments of his peace.  Even while we are stunned by his grace, if we choose to be obedient and humble enough to accept full restoration, he can maximize our messes for his purposes.

Do not misunderstand, I am not referring to what Dietrich Bonhoeffer rightly called "cheap grace."  I am, rather, pointing to God's matchless mercy and limitless love.

God Bless You - Marsha


  1. God's grace is truly amazing to me! The Rahab's and the David's of the Bible are a comfort to me. If God could choose to use a prostitute and an adulterer and murderer, maybe He could also use me?

    It's been a while since I visited Warren's blog but maybe I need to take the time today. Thanks for the heads up on his post.

    I'm so glad you began blogging. I've found you to be an encourager and you are also a good writer.

    Blessings and love,

  2. Ahh, Debbie - YOU are the encourager. God bless you and have a good day. ---Marsha

  3. Ah Marsha, thank you for this today. I needed it.

  4. Marsha,
    Don't know what happened but I left a comment here yesturday. Don't know where it went to! And I can't remember what I wrote. But I do like your post a lot! And I do remember saying "hi" to Debbie! Thanks for furthering the discussion of God's grace for us mess-makers!

  5. Tami - Your posts have given me a lot of smiles and some good food for thought. Thank you!

    D.J. - How I love watching your growth as a writer.

    Warren - Not to worry. Quite a number of my comments left at various posts seem to disappear into the ether. :) I really do appreciate your continued feedback.