The Mess and the Message

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. – 2 Corinthians 4:7-10

I’ve heard tell that God can turn the mess into the message. Clever play on words there. I like it.

But recently I’ve been convicted of something. God is not turning my mess into a message.

photo credit: withrow via photopin cc

photo credit: withrow via photopin cc

My mess is the message.

The world sees that I am hard pressed. They recognize that I am perplexed. Many have witnessed my persecution. I am struck down in full view.

But here is the glory. The world also sees that I am not crushed. They recognize that I do not despair. Many have witnessed that I am never abandoned. While all look on, I rise again to prove that I am not destroyed.

Surely this is not of my own power. Definitely this is not anything I could accomplish from my own strength.

We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about the troubles we experienced in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt we had received the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us again. On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many. – 2 Corinthians 1:8-11

He has delivered us. He shines brightly through this fragile clay jar, lighting up all the cracks that cause me to rely on Him.

photo credit: ToastyKen via photopin cc

photo credit: ToastyKen via photopin cc

Oh He’s here, in the middle of this chaos and mayhem. And the message He’s speaking from the burning bush that is my life?

Here lies the power of the True and Living God. What a canvas.

He must increase, but I must decrease. – John 3:30

Take off your sandals. We’re on Holy Ground.

Heavenly Father, please continue to use me to showcase you. I am unworthy, but thankful for Your mercy and faithfulness. In Jesus’ Name, Amen…

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May God Bless You,


20 Comments on “The Mess and the Message

  1. I wish I could learn how close I can be to God without going through challenges that do despair – but it is so true – that when I get to the place I no longer can – I give it over to Him. I am learning – giving it all to Him before those despair challenges hit the bottom . Wise words, friend!
    bluecottonmemory recently posted…What’s in Your High-Schooler’s Back-Pack?My Profile

    • It is such a difficult lesson to get through my stubborn mind! Glad to know it’s not just me. 🙂 Heart Hugs, Shelly <3

  2. Shelly, Beautiful testimony my friend. Seven years ago tomorrow, Rev had a pericardectomy. Very few people survive it and he went into it very weak after having been ill for over a year. Tomorrow we celebrate “bonus days.” Through the illness and following we were strengthened by God’s power. I still marvel at the ways He used the awful for our good and His glory. I continue to pray for you and praise God for the way He uses you to encourage me. Hugs to you!!
    Deb@CountingMyBlessings recently posted…Quit People Pleasing – Balance Around the Blogosphere & LinkupMy Profile

    • Bonus days… I love that, Deb! I am just so thankful for His provision and patience. Love you. Heart Hugs, Shelly <3

  3. My mess IS the message … love that!
    Thanks, once again, for dropping by my house with the encouragement I needed for today♡♡
    You are loved and appreciated beyond words♡♡♡

    • The thought of you kneeling besides me makes my heart smile so big, sweet friend! Love you! Heart Hugs, Shelly <3

  4. I rejoice with you that you are NOT overcome
    but YOU overcome by the blood of the Lamb.
    Standing with you, on Holy Ground….and one day we shall stand side by side in Glory.
    The most powerful testimony is not one of a person who has suffered naught but she who has suffered MUCH.
    Heart Hugs to you, triumphant warrior friend !

    • You are a beautiful soul, Mary!! I hope our new bodies have necks, so I can hug yours! 🙂 Love you. Heart Hugs, Shelly <3

    • Aww, thank you, Heather! You are very precious to me! Love you. Heart Hugs, Shelly <3

    • Thank you, Cindy! You’re right, He grants grace upon grace for each hard thing! What a beautiful Savior we have. Heart Hugs, Shelly <3

  5. What a glorious testimony. In the middle of the storm, you can still hang on to God and your faithfulness, and His, is a blessing and a witness to all those around you. Thank you so much for sharing. This has inspired me.
    Kristen recently posted…Metamorphosis: ObstaclesMy Profile

    • Thank you, Kristen! It’s all His grace, truly. I’d be so lost without Him. Heart Hugs, Shelly <3

    • I love you, Barbie. Thank you for being here, and for always encouraging me. Heart Hugs, Shelly <3

  6. I absolutely love when our hearts connect over His word here. My post this week is called Holy Ground. I even thought to link a version of the song. Wow. He’s using your life Shelly. Believe that. To speak hope and faithfulness to many. You are a living testimony.

    • Lisha, when I read that post, I knew this was the one to link up. That’s one of my favorite things, too, when He connects our hearts this way. Thank you for your powerful encouragement to me. Heart Hugs, Shelly <3

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