Yes, life can be messy.

Yes, life can be messy.

Life can be messy.

Long, enduring relationships go awry. Loved ones face major surgery or life-threatening illnesses. Unemployment consumes life savings. Hearts break. Minds lose any semblance of sanity.

Shall I go on?

Yes, life can be messy.

But even in the messy — especially in the messy — God is with us. He remains faithful.

Deep in thought, I looked out the kitchen window on the brown, barren winterscape. Our ancient grapevine lay tangled upon its trellis — messy. Long, linear tendrils wove themselves in and out, ever-reaching, ever-striving for something to cling to.

A flash of bright crimson descended from the apple tree and perched on top of the tangled mess. My immediate thought was of the Lord — His crimson blood that washes all things clean and draws me near to my Father. Shortly, the heavenly messenger lifted its wings, circled the knoll, and went back to the apple tree.

I poured a cup of coffee and felt a pull back to the window. My spirit stirred and I knew the Lord wanted to show me something.

Within moments, the cardinal once again swooped onto the grapevine and perched upon the mess. I thought of the eyes of the Lord that roam to and fro seeking those who need to be strengthened. Ever-present. Ever-faithful. Is this it, Lord? Is this what You want me to see?

As I sought the Lord, I waited for more. I knew He was responding to my heartache and feelings of despair. He had captured me in the moment with His tender love.

I sipped my coffee and continued to gaze out the window. What I noticed was a great contrast: brilliant red against deep hues of brown. Majestic elegance against tangled mess. Vibrant life against dormant chaos. The presence of the crimson stood out and shouted to me through the window, I am with you always, especially in the difficulties. I am drawn to your sorrow. I carry peace to Your despair. And My power contrasts against your weakness. My beauty contrasts against your mess. I am here. I am with you, drawing you near … I. Am. Here.

Peace settled over me as I whispered gratitude to my Beloved.

Does your life feel like a tangled mess? Is it hard to breathe with the turmoil in your heart and mind? Then I ask you to close your eyes and picture the One who loves you, Who seeks you out to encourage you, to give you strength, and comfort. Awaken your heart to give Him praise and thank Him for His faithfulness.

Above all, cease striving to cling to something to make the madness stop. Cling to God instead. He is with you. He loves you with an everlasting love. And like the cardinal perched on top of the tangled mess of grapevine, the Lord Himself is there.

Be still — cease striving — and know that I am God. ~ Psalm 46:10


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The Perils of a Pastor’s Wife.

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