The picture on the left is of the outside of my garage. It’s plain, tidy, relatively clean, and displays a nice appearance. In terms of garage exteriors, it kind of “blends in” with other garages and puts on a good front, so to speak.
The picture on the right is the inside of that same garage. I don’t think I need to say much about it except that it is a hot mess. Cluttered, dirty, unorganized, full, overwhelming, and even hazardous at times (I’ve tripped plenty over many things in there). My husband and I keep saying, “We’ll clean it out…eventually”. That “eventually” hasn’t come yet. But you know what? As long as the “stuff” is kept in the garage, shut and locked tight so it’s all protected and hidden, there’s not much I need to worry about, right?
Well maybe. Maybe not.
Appearances can be deceiving.
The other evening, while I was preparing to pick up my yard before heading in for the night, the appearance of my garage made me stop and think. The “hot mess” on the inside was carefully hidden away from the world’s prying eyes. I don’t enjoy having a messy garage, but when the door is shut, the “face” of the garage is well-composed and put together; no one knows what’s going on on the inside.
I thought about how we, as humans, do this every day. We stuff, bury, hide, tuck away, and close off so many things from the world, from our family, from our friends…all so we can put on a good front. Sure, many of us have people we confide in and are blatantly honest with, but overall, we want to have that nice, tidy, “picked up/put together” exterior. We want to show a well-chosen, carefully arranged “face” to the world, all while hiding away the mess we all have.
This is an incredible load to carry. The pressure weighs down on each of us in its own way. We all have this in common, yet we bear, carry, drag, hide, cover up, sugarcoat, process and understand these messes in our own individual and completely unique ways. No other human being, no matter how close to you, can truly know and understand what is taking place in your life. No one can process, interpret, feel, and act the way you do. And many of us cover these attributes up, hiding them away from the prying eyes of the world, because we want to show a good face to whomever is watching. A plain, tidy, clean, and all around nice appearance.
But we don’t have to carry this load alone. We don’t have to bend under this pressure. In Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV), Jesus says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light”.
What a relief. My soul can rest. I don’t have to bear this pressure alone that is brought on the by the world. I am so grateful to Jesus who took on every burden on His shoulders because He loves me. Because He loves you. Forever and always.
Today, I am going to try and embrace my mess. I am going to try to not be afraid of revealing my flaws and uncovering my shortcomings. Because no matter what, I am still beautiful and worthy, and so are you. The Bible offers us another truth to assure us of this. Psalm 139:14 states, ”I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well” (ESV). We are the beautiful craftsmanship of God’s hand, and we are fearfully, wonderfully, awesomely, beautifully made. Created and brought to life to fulfill a special and unique purpose to fulfill His will in a magnanimous, complete plan that is beyond our human comprehension. How amazing. How humbling. And because my soul can rest in these truths, I can embrace my mess, and embrace others’ as well, remembering that I am flawed and the only One who was ever perfect gave His life so I could have mine. We are in this life together and shouldn’t waste any more time hiding the beautiful qualities that God gave us. For me, I’m promising to change that today. Will you make yourself that promise too?
Now, about that garage…