When Your Mess Becomes Your Message
"Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise." Jeremiah 17:14 (NIV)
My brother is a recovered addict. For twenty years, he was absent from our family due to addiction issues. Countless times we thought he was dead, and according to statistics, he should have been.
However, God happens to be in the restoration business. He is willing to restore and heal all who come to Him. It doesn't matter who you are, what you've done, or what has been done to you. God is willing and able to turn any tragedy into triumph. My brother is living proof.
After entering many programs with hopes of success and end results of failure, my brother finally found the answer: Jesus. It wasn't until my brother met the Lord that healing and true change occurred. Suddenly, all things became new.
What's most exciting is anyone can experience this kind of freedom!
The truth is, we don't have the strength, will power, or ability to free ourselves from bondage no matter what the bondage is—drugs, lust, gluttony, pride, anger, or fear. Until we renounce our sickness and surrender to Christ, we will never experience freedom. On the other hand, when we are willing to give King Jesus our mess, He turns it into our message.
Not a day goes by that my brother doesn't look for opportunities to brag on God and share His message of hope.
Take a few summers ago, for example. One evening, our families gathered for dinner at Red Lobster. His treat! Twenty-six year old Tiffany was our server. Right away, we noticed two things about Tiffany. She was a natural with people, and she was very pregnant. While we enjoyed her kind service, we had no idea that God would turn the tables and call us to serve her in a unique way.
It started when my sister refused to allow my brother to buy her dinner. While my sister loves to give to others, she's not so good on the receiving end. I, on the other hand, understood that it gave my brother great pleasure to pick up the check. The Lord knows I didn't want to deny him his blessing!
Poor Tiffany found herself caught in the middle of the argument. Eager to win, my brother said to our server, "You see, I was a drug addict for years. During that time, my sisters did a lot for me. Now, I just want to bless them as they have blessed me."
Tiffany's eyes widen. "You were a drug addict?" she inquired. "I would have never guessed."
"Yes. I was," my brother replied. "But Jesus changed all that." From there he told Tiffany his life-changing story.
"I went from being lost to being found; from being homeless to being a homeowner; from being an employee to owning my own business; from being bound by drugs to being set free in Christ."
Tears filled Tiffany's eyes as we shared God's love with her. That's not all. Later that week, we confirmed God's love to her by presenting her with a baby gift.
Oh, friends, when you and I—like my brother—allow God to turn our mess into our message, He not only changes our lives, but He changes the lives of others too.
Dear Lord, Your mercy astounds me. Your goodness overwhelms me as I cry out "heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me and I will be saved." God, give me opportunities to speak of Your hope so that others may know Your goodness and salvation. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Reflect and Respond:
Are you longing for freedom? Renounce your sin and ask Jesus to save you and heal you. Then, tell people of His wonders!
What is keeping you from completely surrendering your struggles to God?
Do you look for ways to brag on God by sharing your story? Why or why not?
Luke 19:10, "For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost." (NIV)
Ephesians 2:8-9, "For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast." (NAS)
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