Lord, this is a Mess
Lysa TerKeurst

"In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness..." Romans 8:26 (NIV)

Have you ever been in a situation that seemed like such a mess you simply couldn't make sense of it? Like trying to straighten out a tangled necklace, you wonder how in heavens' name did all these knots get kinked and twisted and pulled so tight. And in the midst of trying to untangle a knot on one side you inadvertently form another on the other end.

It's frustrating when this happens with a piece of jewelry. And it's even more frustrating when it happens in relationships.

The other day I sat down to pray about a messy relationship and the knots were so consuming I couldn't even begin to make sense of it all. I didn't even know what to pray. I kept trying to think of wise words to offer up to the Lord that would surely unlock pieces and parts of this mess. But I was completely without a drop of insight. All I could see was a mess.

So, that's all I prayed, "Lord, this is a mess."

And then I just sat quietly and waited.

And waited.

And waited.

All that waiting time makes a doing girl like me feel like my nerves are going to bust out of my skin and start yanking my limbs into action. So, with all my might, I made myself sit and say nothing at all except, "Lord, this is a mess." And you know what? It was really hard to sit there with no answers. No wise words to pray. My usually very verbal self couldn't express anything but, "Lord, this is a mess."

I believe it's situations like this for which Romans 8:26-28 was written:

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose (NIV).

In our weakness we can't objectively search our mind and spirit. And often in our weakness we can't untangle our knots according to God's will. We are too intertwined in emotion and assumption. That's why sometimes it's best if we just simply sit quietly and let the Spirit do some groaning, untangling and working on our behalf.

Like verse 28 says, there is good to come out of this. God is working and will work good out of this mess. Sometimes I think the only thing standing between our mess and His good work from it is our need to sit quietly. In the quiet beautiful things happen:

• We calm down.
• We create some white space between our harsh reaction and the way we'd want to react if we really thought things through first.
• We can ask God to intervene with real wisdom instead of our assumptions.
• God can show us where we need to change. We can't control the other person and parking our efforts toward trying will exhaust us. But we can let God help us change, which will create positive progress. (For more great things that can happen in the quiet, visit Lysa's blog linked below.)

I can't help but notice that the first four letters of Messiah spell mess. We need Him. Only the Messiah can take our mess and turn it into a untangled message of hope, forgiveness, and ultimately love.

Dear Lord, this is a mess. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Related Resources:
Visit Lysa’s blog for a list of 10 great things that can happen in the quiet

Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl by Lysa TerKeurst

Am I Messing Up My Kids?...and Other Questions Every Mom Asks - a new book by Lysa TerKeurst. This is an expanded, updated version of her previous title, “The Bathtub is Overflowing But I Feel Drained.”

Application Steps:
The next time I'm in the midst of a mess, where is a quiet place I can sit with the Lord? How can I plan now to not react in the moment?

What are some personal benefits that would happen if I heeded this advice and stopped rushing in to fix things, but rather gave God time to speak to my heart?

Reflections:
What relationship do I have in my life that seems to get tangled up and messy most often?

What are some ways I might need to change?

Power Verses:
Psalm 46:10a, "Be still, and know that I am God." (NIV)

Romans 8:26b, "We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express." (NIV)

© 2010 by Lysa TerKeurst. All rights reserved.

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12 Comments:

Anonymous Girl...Hush! said...

So true! The short and sweet tips stick! Lord, help this mess!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow three Devotions in a row written for me. Lysa T. God worked so Awesomely thru you, thank you. "Lord, this is a Mess. Amen" Is it Friday yet? :)bp

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow needed this today and it's comforting to know I'm not the only one who is going through this and feels like I am going crazy in the silence. =) Sometimes, it's so confusing with all that is in our Christian world...relationships, boundaries, 'God's Will/Plan' for my life, the Golden Rule, common sense, meekness vs. weakness...which "solution" applies to which relationship? All I can really do is turn it over to God and desperately hope I can hear His voice and receive His true guidance through all the other insights and impressions.

Anonymous Suzette said...

AMEN!
so many prayers to God, I don't know why I am praying, just know my heart God. Breathe on me God. Quiet me God.

Blogger danni_marie said...

I certainly needed to read this! This week has been messy. One knot there, and another there...too much for my emotions. And one night I spilled my hear out to the Lord. Though I still feel stressed, and a little anxious...I don't have words for the Lord. I laid it all on him a couple nights ago, but I feel the Spirit calming me each day. And I know that next week will be great! :D

Blogger Ferna said...

So very true. Sometimes we literally need to "be still" and know that He is God, allowing our Spirit to commune with him with "groans and utterings" that only he can understand. I love the way you phrased it: "Lord, this is a mess." Sometimes, that's the only thing we can say. Thank you for the words here. They are a great encouragement.

I remember once trying to pray and couldn't form it into words. All that would come out of my mouth were these words: "Lord.... I want... what.... you want..." For I realized that no matter what I prayed, I needed the answer to be His Will and Not Mine.

My website www.rainbowfaith.com is also a Christian ministry of encouragement, specifically for the grieving. I would like to add a link to your site for my readers as another great source for encouragement. Thank you!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes God can messes and mend broken hearts if we let Him. we need to recognize that we do have a mess that is bigger than ourselves and there's only One who holds the answers. If we let Him lead us we can never go wrong. God is good..He's good all the time...even we don't understand. He does. He knows right where you are in your life and He wants to hold Your hand and guide you. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This devotional truly touched me. I am unemployed and going through a tough time financially. My bills and worries were mounting higher and higher. I felt like a mess. After reflecting on the scripture and praying, I was reminded that God is in Control and I immediately felt peaceful. I also want to let you know that the Lord blessed me with a job today. Praise God!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

remember in the times that you think
you are alone with no one to turn to
that is when God is the closest to you.

Anonymous Megan Elizabeth said...

this was a very good devotion. im a 17 year old girl going through many hard times and this was so amazing to hear. im printing out this devotion and putting in my devotion journal :)

Blogger Miss Busy Body said...

oh how I needed this!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for your post. This week is a mess. The kids are a mess. Work is a mess. The house is a mess. I'm trying really hard not to be a mess, myself. I am so glad that our God is not a mess. He is in complete order all the time, and He is in control!

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