A Perfect Mess

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"...Together, you and I, we have been working with a purpose in your heart. And it is wild and beautiful and perfectly in process. To you it seems like a mess, but to me, I see a perfect pattern emerging and growing and alive -- a living fractal."

excerpt from The Shack by Wm. Paul Young


fractal - [frak-tl]: (n) any of various extremely irregular curves or shapes for which any suitably chosen part is similar in shape to a given larger or smaller part when magnified or reduced to the same size.


I have recently completed reading the book The Shack. I cannot even begin to explain how much this book has blessed me. Although a work of fiction, it brings to life so much about the importance of our relationship with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The author has such a beautiful way of describing God's love for us and the way in which He moves and is working in our lives.

The quote above is one of many that really spoke to me. Quite often I do see my life as a mess. I don't feel that I have it together well in my relationship with God, in my relationship with others, I don't feel that I always have my priorities straight or that I show God's love to others. Many days I'm not sure I am a good wife, mother, friend, or employee.

However, regardless of how big of a mess that I feel I am... that is the complete opposite of what God sees. God sees the bigger picture and He knows that while I may not have a strong relationship with someone today, I am learning something from the struggles on-going at the moment. Maybe someday that relationship will be great. Or, maybe someday I will be better prepared for another situation because of what I learned from the current relationship struggle. Because God is looking down on it from above He sees it all and He knows how all the pieces fit together.

As I was recently discussing this quote with several friends of mine, a picture came to mind (partly because of the setting in which this quote takes place in the book). Imagine that you are standing in the midst of a garden that is filled with many different kinds of flowers and grasses and trees. While beautiful, at the same time it is unorganized and there is no apparent rhyme or reason to how it all fits together. However, you then have the opportunity to fly over the garden and see that what appeared to be unorganized when standing IN the garden is now seen as the shape of an animal or a tree or some other object when looking down at the garden from above.

That is what God sees from above... the way the picture of our lives fit together to form the perfect pattern.


Thank you, Lord, for being able to see how my puzzle fits together. Thank you for seeing past the "mess" and being able to see the beauty that is in me. Thank you for standing beside me and never leaving me. Thank you for encouraging me to move forward even when I can't see past the present moment and all the messes that I feel have taken over my life. Thank you, Lord, for taking our messes and fitting them together into the perfect puzzle. Amen.


14 Thoughts Shared:

Kristi said...

Melanie, thank you for sharing this. I really needed to read this today. This gardening girl loves that analogy...and the quote is amazing. Blessings to you.

bp said...

I have heard good things about this book but haven't read it yet. I love that analogy! Happy Thanksgiving to your family!

Faith said...

This post really blessed me today.
And it's neat: I had ordered this for my hubby for xmas and it just arrived in the mail yesterday! I'll read it when he's done with it!

Happy Thanksgiving

Tammy said...

Oh thank you for sharing this - I have had several discussions lately about this very subject. I have also heard great things about The Shack...I will have to add it to my reading list.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Laurie Ann said...

I just finished my second read of this book. I particularly enjoyed the section this quote was pulled from and can identify with you on messes and fractals. Very insightful post!

Are you through reading the book? I had a question I'd like to ask your thoughts about but don't want to give away the part if you haven't read it yet...

Beth E. said...

Sounds like a great book. I'll have to look for it.

I'm so glad that I don't have to have my mess in perfect order before God will accept me! He accepts me for who I am, then lovingly leads me into becoming the woman of God I am called to be! It's a life of constant growing and changing...preparing me on earth for my home in Glory!

Please continue to remember my husband in your prayers. He is scheduled for an MRI tomorrow morning at 8:30 a.m.

Thanks, and God bless you...

Cheryl said...

Hey Melanie,

I too, especially of late, feel like my life is a mess. That is a great quote. I haven't read The Shack, because I've heard so many negative, but also positive things about it. But, maybe I should see for myself???

Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Thanks for all your prayers and support you've given me.

Happy Happy Thanksgiving.

Love,
Cheryl

Tricia said...

Hey Melanie
I too have read the Shack and found it very interesting. I like how it portrayed the fact that it is about a relationship with God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit... we are to have communion and fellowship with all 3. Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Blessings!

Tracy said...

What a beautiful observation! I hadn't planned to read The Shack, but just last week a friend suggested we read it together after Christmas and discuss it together. After your post, I'm especially looking forward to it. That's quite a powerful quote. Thank you again for sharing these thoughts, many of which I see in myself.

Hope you and your family have a wonderful time of Thanksgiving!

Blessings to you!
Tracy

Kim@Seasons of My Heart said...

Melanie~
What a BEAUTIFUL post my friend. (I really need to get this book..perhaps I will as a Christmas gift!!!)

I truly LOVE the quote you shared as well....and I'll be pondering it....for some time.

Have a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving my friend.

Kim~

Jenny said...

You have a lovely blog! I haven't read the Shack yet, but it's looking like I need too!

Jen

Daveda said...

The Shack is one of my favorite reads of all time. What a beautiful picture of God's grace at work in our lives. Grace has a name, Jesus, and He makes all of our "mess" look, well...BEAUTIFUL! I enjoyed this post. Happy Thanksgiving!

Amy said...

I absolutely love that book. I read it in 8 hours and cried most of the time. Thank you for this post. I needed it. I too feel like a mess a lot of the time, especially right now. So it's nice to be reminded that God is working through what I deem to be a mess. Happy Thanksgiving!

Shanda said...

I have been wanting to read that book! I want to read it all in one weekend-I've heard it can be kind of emotional...

Thanks for your openness & transparency!

Sweet blessings!