A few weeks ago Brian and I watched an interview with Mandy Harvey. Mandy lives in Central Florida (as do we!), and she was being interviewed by a local pastor.
Many of you might have seen Mandy perform recently on, "America's Got Talent".
Mandy is a twenty-nine year old-young lady who is deaf, and yet she still sings! Yes, you read that correctly!
She lost all of her hearing to an illness ten years ago while studying in college to teach music.
I appreciated her total honesty as she talked about when she first lost her hearing. She didn't sugar coat how she felt or say that all was well because at the time it wasn't.
It was messy!
These were real raw emotions of grief, sorrow, anger, disbelief, and sadness. She even went through a season when she could no longer pray.
Life had become
I don't know about you, but I've been there. Chronic illness has a nasty way of taking you on a long journey through all those many emotions and responses. Life becomes messy, mixed up and awkward.
The sad part is that if you don't deal with all those emotions, especially the last one of not talking to the Lord and shunning Him, you'll never know the joy of having Jesus walk hand in hand right beside you through all the messiness!
You'll miss out on the many unique opportunities which the Lord has planned for you to encourage others and bring Him honor and glory right in the midst of your messiness!
You'll never know what it's like to hear the Lord's small still voice in the quietness of the night when you're all alone and fear is beginning to overtake you, but He whispers, "Peace, be still", and then the messiness of life doesn't seem so messy!
Yes, Mandy, struggled after she lost her hearing, but she admitted she was viewing God as Someone Who was mean, harsh and just waiting to strike people down.
After having a long talk with her Dad, who happens to be a pastor, she came back to the fact that God IS good. Her eyes were also opened back up to the realization that we live in a broken, messy world where things happen.
do happen to
has a plan!
"A man's heart deviseth his way: but the LORD directeth his steps."
Mandy began, once again, to view God as her good good Father.
Just as an earthly father watches over his children, Mandy remembered that her Heavenly Father was also watching over her. He was watching her before, during and after all the messiness!
"Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?"
Yes, Mandy, is a Christian. She knows Jesus as her personal Saviour and loves Him! Yes, she questioned God and His way of doing things, and even spent some time away from Him, but none of that ever surprised the Lord or caused Him to love her any less!
God was using the trial and the messiness to draw her closer to Himself. To teach her new things about Himself and to grow her faith. To redirect her life in a whole new direction where she could continue to encourage others and bring honor and glory to Himself in an even greater way!
God was turning
She acknowledged without a doubt that we live in a messy, awkward world and at times we live messy, awkward lives to which I say a hearty, "Amen!"
But God (my favorite two words!) can take our messiness and awkwardness and use it for the good of others and for His glory, IF we allow Him.
If we hand our messiness over to Him with hands wide open.
If we say, "Lord, here I am in this messy, mixed up, awkward life, not sure how You could ever use me to be a blessing to others and bring honor to Your name, but I'm willing."
Don't wait for the messiness of your life to clear up before choosing to serve the Lord.
Because there are times the messiness doesn't always clear up in this lifetime! So just jump right in and serve the Lord messy life and all!
I love the following example which Mandy gave.
She said that the Lord may use you to bring honor to Himself by you holding open a door for someone else and smiling as you do it. You may be the only person who held the door open for that particular person all day. You may have been the only person who smiled at that particular person all day!
I love that example!
So very simple!
Serving the Lord doesn't need to be difficult!
To be used by the Lord takes no special talent, schooling, special degree or knowledge. It just takes you and me willing to do what ever the Lord asks us to do!
Just remember it may involve taking your life and your plans and allowing the Lord to turn them completely upside down, inside out and making everything messy, mixed up and awkward!
"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end."
I've included the video of Mandy singing on "America's Got Talent".
I think you will not only enjoy it, but you will also be encouraged and challenged to allow the Lord to take your messiness and turn it into a meaningful message.
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May God Bless You,