I’ve been talking some about relationships and how we can demonstrate the gospel to others. Several years ago author and speaker Paul Tripp blogged about how we can experience God in the middle of messy relationships. I wanted to share it with you today. Good stuff!
The blog is entitled Mercy in the Mess.
“We all dream of the perfect relationship. You know, the one that is free of disagreement, conflict, communication difficulties, power battles, anger and control. We can envision what it would be like. The problem is, none of us ever get what we were once able to imagine. When we wake up from our dreams, we all are greeted by the reality that all of our relationships live in the same location – the fallen world, and all of our relationships are with the same kind of person – an imperfect human being. (I will remind you again, you’re one of those too!)
2. God is in the middle of the mess with you. Psalm 46 tells us that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” If you are God’s child, you have never been in a location all by yourself. If you are God’s child, you have never been in a relationship all by yourself. You have never endured difficulty in isolation. Why? Because God is always with you and he is there so that you would have a place to run (“refuge”) and help in your moments of greatest discouragement and weakness (“strength”).
3. God is up to something good in the mess. Here’s the mistake we make in the way we attempt to make sense out of lives. We think that the mess is a sure sign that God is not working in our lives, because if he were at work, we wouldn’t be in such a mess. The Bible tells us something completely different. It tells us that because God loves us so, he is not satisfied with us as we are. He looks down at us and sees many areas where change and growth are needed. He couldn’t love us and be willing to leave us in our immaturity and weakness. So, God takes us where we do not want to go in order to produce in us what we could not achieve on our own – character. And how does he do this? He uses the difficult experiences of life to expose and change our hearts. One of his main tools is our relationships. These messy relationships expose our hearts, bring us to the end of ourselves and cause us to reach out for the help that only Jesus can give us.
I know it is hard to face the hurt and disaapointment of a relationship gone bad. But there is hope. You are never alone. The One who is with you is up to something very good and because he is, there really is mercy to be found right smack dab in the middle of the mess!”