Whenever I think if King Saul from the Old Testament, all I can think about are his failures. Of course he had his moments of victory, moments when God’s Spirit so filled him that he began to prophecy. But for the most part, the guy is pretty messed up.
Me: God, why would you choose him as the first king of Israel when you knew he would fail so miserably?
God: Why do I choose anyone?
Ouch! And yet, so much grace fills that response.
His reply hurts because it reminds me that no matter how much I try to hold it together, I’m a messy person with flaws and struggles I don’t want people to know about. I seek perfection and when I don’t get it, I beat myself up. I’m a rule follower, which can sometimes tie me up in knots. I get distracted and forget that God asked me to do that one thing. I have trouble being still and feel the need to get things done my way and in my time, even things only God can do. I doubt and fear and question. I say things that hurt people and I’m lazy. I’m self-serving.
Just like Saul.
Saul’s moments of glory were few and far between. He hid behind a pile of baggage when his name was announced as the King of Israel. He got in a hurry and offered a sacrifice to God that wasn’t his to offer, and because of it, the throne was taken away from him. He was tormented by an evil spirit and sought to kill the boy, David, who would one day take Saul’s throne.
He was a mess.
But here’s the good thing–the thing that so completely blows my mind: God chooses messy people.
If you look throughout the Bible you’ll find stories upon stories of messy people–people who didn’t get it right, people who didn’t trust God, people who went their own way. No one is perfect no matter how flawless they seem.
Even still, He stepped down into our mess, He embraced it, He lived in it with us, and He overcame it. He calls us near and offers grace upon grace. He calls us near and reminds us that despite the mess, He wants to use us to further His kingdom and bring heaven down to earth.
Over the next few posts, I want to look at some of these other messy people and see what we can glean from their stories. What can we learn about God? And what can we learn about ourselves?
God chooses my mess, and He chooses yours.
Let that truth sink in today. You don’t have to perform for Him. You don’t have to get it all right. In fact, He knows you’ll fail and screw up and go astray. But He chooses you anyways. He will always welcome you back, always love you, always continue to pour out grace upon grace.
You are loved, dear heart. So deeply loved!
Live in His love!