I am the type of person who likes everything neat and tidy. It's not because I am some sort of neat freak but more due to time. I hate wasting time looking for something when it's not in its proper place. I am not saying that I have achieved this wonderful place of organized paradise but it is a goal I work towards. Knowing this about me, perhaps you can understand how adding 8 puppies to my life has been an overwhelming challenge.
Puppies are neither organized nor neat. Puppies are wonderful small bundles of energized furry bombs of chaos. They chew everything, run everywhere, eat everything and never stop with the pooing and peeing. In a word they are messy. Messy, messy, messy and I am the great mess cleaner upper in our house, even though I am the one who said no to pets. That's the negative, but there is the positive as well.
Puppies love and admire without condition. It doesn't matter who you are they are going to overwhelm you with their affection. It doesn't matter if you just corrected them two minutes ago, they will be right there with their tails wagging, wanting your love. There are times I feel like I have my own fan club as they follow me around the house and outside. If I show affection to one, all the rest are there to demand equal attention, if not more. So it is often a love hate relationship and I will miss them when they are gone.
It's funny how everytime I find myself cleaning up the great quantities of poo left behind by my personal van club, I am reminded by the Spirit how often God has had to clean me up from my messes. As neat as I want life to be, it isn't. Life is filled with all kinds of poo due to our mess ups, mistakes and, sometimes, blatant sins. Life is messy and we have a Father who loves us more than enough to clean us up from these messes. That's great to know and we love him for it, but it goes beyond what is done for us.
"For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins." (Matthew 16:14-15)
Life is messy. Relationships are messy but we are part of the clean up crew. We are to do as it has been done for us. As we have received, we are suppose to give. Jesus said that he who has been forgiven much loves much, but he who has been forgiven little loves little. This does not mean that some people have very little that needs forgiven but instead that there are some people who refuse to recognize they have a lot that needs to be forgiven. These people do not know how to forgive because they do not seek forgiveness.
I know there are probably some messy relationships in your life right now that you would rather walk away from but would you want God to walk away from you because of your messes? If we are willing to receive forgiveness we also need to be prepared to dish it out. It doesn't mean the relationship will improve, although it might. It will mean that you are in the right place doing the right thing, the thing that pleases our Father.
Let's face it, we are still mess ups but our Father has made a commitment to us to see us to the end. He's on our side and he will do everything he can to see us succeed in this race. Now he wants us to be just like that with the people he has brought into our life. It's a messy commitment that we have to see through to the end of it. It may mean a lot of poo that has to be cleaned up but Jesus' love will see us through that part of the relationship. Just don't give up. Don't expect anything back but instead see it as an investment in the Kingdom of God. Your unconditional love may help them come to a mature understanding of the love of Jesus, and that is what it is all about.