A Mess in His Hand

Have you ever seen the mess under your table after a full day of kid occupation and demolition? Gathering under your table are portions of pancake and bits of bacon from breakfast; glints of goldfish and hunks of ham from lunch; scattered salmon and messy mashed potatoes from dinner, and don’t even get me started on the ever accumulating pesky pieces of play dough, fragments of forgotten toys and determined debris from the yard.

You look at the mess under your table and become overwhelmed. “I just cleaned all this mess yesterday!” you think. Then, your mind begins its spiral into a dismal recount all of the housekeeping you do every second of the day – cooking, organizing, cleaning messes, picking up toys, changing diapers, doing laundry and that’s just the stuff you do at home!

I remember on one particular evening I finally cracked! I was so upset about the mess in the kitchen. It felt as though I looked away for one second and a tornado pointed its tricky finger down from ceiling, stirring the contents of my kitchen and brought it back up before I could see it. My mind started fuming, and I took a nose dive into my own pity party.

I angrily got the broom and started sweeping under the table. I filled my mind with all the little and seemingly insignificant things I do all day long. I questioned my purpose and the meaning of life, which at the time felt like was all about cleaning. I had no peace or joy, and I forgot all of the blessings God pours on me each day.

About one minute later my floor was clean (all that complaining for something that was so easy to do)! I walked over to the trashcan to dump out that day’s destruction, and I noticed how little the mess looked in the dustpan. I stared at the gathered garbage and laughed. I could hold all of it on the palm of my hand.

How could such a little mess cause me so much grief?

That’s when God gave me an important image. I know it sounds cliché, but I imagined all of my life’s problems in the palm of His hand, and they seemed small.

Everything is small compared to the power and love of God. If we give our lives over to Him, we are protected for eternity. Nothing can snatch us out of His hands. Though the messes of life – busyness, illness, divorce and death – surround us; we know that our Heavenly Father is holding them all in His mighty hand. He doesn’t promise that our lives will be easy; He simple promises that we will be able to persevere (James 1.12).

What messes are you dealing with today?

Do you trust that God holds them in His hand?

Will you determine your mind not to worry about situations that are out of your control? Let us praise God that we will be spending eternity in heaven with Him!

“Father, please help us to have faith that You truly have the whole world (including our messes) in Your mighty hands. Amen!”

“I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them
out of my hand” (John 10.28 NIV).

Alisa Hope Wagner

Alisa Hope Wagner is aggressive about leading a simple life. She enjoys working out, reading, writing and communicating God’s love and truth. She married her high school sweetheart, and together they enjoy raising their children in a Christ-centered home. Though an introvert by nature, Alisa easily expresses herself through social media, especially on her blog. She has earned her B.A. Degree in English and her M.S. Degree in Applied English Linguistics, and she volunteered in women’s ministry leadership and life group ministry for her church. She trained in Mixed Martial Arts and won her bout by TKO! She has written her debut novel, Eve of Awakening, and has started the sequel, Bear Into Redemption.

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24 Comments

  1. Praise God for holding me, and my mess in His precious, loving hands.

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  2. Lovely little devotional Alisa. Thanks!

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  3. I’m sitting here reading this and my head is shaking “yes, yes, yes”… I think I said the exact same thing the other night about my kitchen floor (and living room floor) and wondered … “how in the world does all this accumulate and I JUST swept (vacuumed) this morning?” To look at it from this perspective, it really is minimal in the grand scheme of life, but at that moment it seems tremendous to us. I can imagine God looking in the palm of His hand, watching the tornado swirl around the messes of my life, and saying to me “Honey (or daughter, if you prefer), if you’d just be still and let me do what I do best, I can clean up your mess!” And in that process of cleaning up the mess I made, it’s as if He take his clean hand and wipes the messy one clean… all sins forgiven, all chaos now peaceful. What a beautiful devotion!!!

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  4. You have encouraged me!

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  5. What a great way to put “our messes” into perspective. Going to be sharing this with others.

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  6. I just love the picture you paint here with your words. I am so glad that God is there to help me regroup when I make those messes that I am likely to make.

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  7. When I read this, I didn’t see the mess. I just saw the scraps of scrumptious food that made its way into your kitchen…pancakes, bacon, salmon, mashed potatoes? Mmmmm….how I would love to be a mouse living in your kitchen right now…

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  8. Oh WOW! It’s as if you knew what was going on and that I needed this! I TRULY did need this at this very moment and I’m so grateful to you for writing it!!!

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  9. Perspective is so important. I think it helps the most for me when I need to step away from the “You are wrong” mode. When I stop to think about what I did, or am doing and what the other person sees or feels I get a better look at the situation. I also have been trying to see with Godlike eyes and hear with Godlike ears–both carve out all of the noise and clutter and get to the heart of the matter. Realizing that God is bigger and kinder and smarter and more loving than I can ever be or imagine is a good thing–but it takes practice to stop and change the direction of my gaze!

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  10. Thank you – if only I had a dime for everytime I felt the way you described in your devotional and it is so silly, not to mention empty of grace.

    I appreciate your challenge and perspective – it was a blessing to me today.

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  11. So true! I have to constantly remind myself that we are but a vapor. Which means each of our problems is even less than a vapor! I don’t know how people who don’t know jesus do it sometimes. Thank the Lord for eternal security! Thaks Alisa for stopping by and folowing my blog.

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  12. Hi Alisa –

    Loved this devotional! Thanks for reminding us to keep our eyes on God’s ability instead of fretting about our problems.

    Blessings,
    Susan 🙂

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  13. That was a wonderful perspective!! A Great lesson to remember.
    And so so timely…Only God! Thank you for stopping by today!
    Julie

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  14. our little piddly messes in life, don’t hold a stick to the Power of God’s Almighty Hand.. I am so glad I ran into this powerful devotion tonight.. it ministered hope to my heart, and healing to my soul, as I have been asking Father God to clean my emotions up, from the inside out today… no more playing hide and seek with the very emotions God has given us to have and use for our healing.. NO reason to hide them – that only leaves the enemy a place to breed more junk, as he creates havoc in our lives.. Thank you so much for writing this… powerful, powerful stuff!

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  15. I see those crumbs everyday. Thanks for the positive picture to associate with the mess!

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  16. True. I also love how Babbie Mason sings about how as friends we can “Stand in the gap” for each other. “Just remember someone somewhere is praying for you, calling out your name, praying for your strength, I’ll be standing in the gap for you.” That is just what this internet community of faith can be for each other. Maybe knowing those prayers are going out…lifting us up…will be the catalyst for us to remember to turn to Him. Holly at LLL

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  17. thank you for commenting on my blog. I can so relate to this post. usually, I’m pretty calm when dealing with messes. but the other day, my 3 year old daughter was wearing a brand new shirt for the first time while at her art table, and I warned her not to use the sharpie pens. well she did, and lo and behold, two big black marks got on her brand new shirt. a really cute shirt btw with white polka dots on a green background. does it matter that it was so cute??? at the time, I got so mad inside. was it because she disobeyed me? no, it was because it was a brand new shirt! so silly of me, I realized the next day; how insignificant. so your post resonated with me this morning. and God does hold all our troubles right there in His hand.

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  18. Ummm…were you just at my house hiding somewhere? As I prepare for this baby, I’ve been trying to keep the house clean – and the area under the dining room table is the bane of my existence and I was definitely getting frustrated with it. But you’re right, one quick sweep with the broom or vacuum and it’s gone…and the fragments really aren’t that much to handle. What a wonderful way to put all of our life’s frustrations and issues into perspective – with one quick sweep God can hold them all in his hands, and help us to get through each and every one. He might not make them all just disappear into a trash can or vacuum bag – but He will give us his strength and grace to handle the issues with the peace he intended for all of us to have which surpasses understanding. Thank you Alisa…thank you God.

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  19. BEautiful post. It is so good to know that He has my whole life in His hands and that I can trust everything to Him. I just need to give it to Him daily. Nothing is too big for HIM!

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  20. I loved this post, because I can so identify with it. It seems I often let the little things cause me big grief, yet you are right, He is holding it ALL in His hands, and there, all my messes are small. I need to remember to put all messes, big and small, in the proper perspective – His!

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  21. I can really relate to this writing. So thankful for His hand to cleanse my mess.
    Blessings,
    Amy

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  22. Wow – that’s great, Alisa. God has used floor cleaning to speak to my heart too. I love how He can use absolutely anything 🙂 Thank you for this challenge, this reminder. So easy to slip into the pity party and be buried by seeminly overwhelming obstacles or even the mundane … nothing is too big or too mundane for God. Thanks, Alisa. I always enjoy your writing!

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  23. This is such a wonderful message, Alisa. So, so true… I can definitely identify with your story. There are times that I get so overwhelmed by daily chores that I want to explose inside. Thank you once again for tapping me on the shoulder and giving me that gentle reminder to stop worrying about trivial things. But, God is in control of everything!!!

    Be Blessed.

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  24. What a perfect visual – the itty bitty mess in the pan – I keep telling my boys when they experience fear to “Slay that Monster Fear” (in a dramatic voice, of course)before it becomes bigger. I like how you reduced my mess – and allowed me to put that mess in perspective! You, Alisa, are a blessing!

    Reply

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