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"What a mess!"

By Pete Macinta

Those were my thoughts somewhere in the 1980's when I was pastoring Flintstone Assembly of God, Gilpentown, Maryland, as I lay flat on my back looking at the ceiling of the church entrance way.

Since the flakes of paint falling from that ceiling made my people wonder if they had a bad case of dandruff, it was time to paint it.

So I set to the task armed with ladder, newspapers, paint and brushes.

Those were the days when I had begun to listen to God about my spells of depression. There were many times when I made "mountains out of mole hills".

The entrance way was not too large and the work went quickly. When I was finished, I laid on the floor, looked up, and saw a lot of streaks.

Terrible! I felt like such a klutz. The streaks reminded me of my own spiritual messes and various disappointments in pastoring. It seemed liked there was little that I could do well, and that ceiling was typical of what I thought my life was to that point. But, as I stared upward, I saw the streaks gradually vanish. I noticed that a nice breeze was coming in through the open door too, and figured the circulating air was helping to resolve what I thought was a mess.

Then, I realized what God was showing me. If we do what we are supposed to do to the best of our ability, in due time He, by His Holy Spirit, will smooth out what we think is a mess.

Even if we err, if we confess our ways to Him and seek His help, He will develop us into His likeness, if we let Him.

"But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold." (Job 23:10)

It takes fire to purify us at times, with the Holy Spirit blowing the breath of Life upon us and into us.

This is one reason why it is so good to be in Jesus, to have Him live within you. When the devil attempts to sadden us with our imperfect lives, we can send him packing.

With Christ within, we can seek and receive forgiveness for our sins, shortcomings and failures. We then can relax in Him, look up, and see his handiwork in our lives.

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