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Messy People




I spend a lot of time with messy people. After all, helping messy people is what I do. But recently, God has been sending me some people who are even messier than usual. And, I haven't responded very well.


I don't like being screamed at in my office. I don't really like when other people scream at each other in my office. I don't like hostile clients who insist that they have no problems and everyone else is to blame. I don't like injustice or when people sin against my clients in a gross and habitual manner and they hurt. Mostly, I don't like when these things are happening and I start to feel powerless and completely unable to do anything that will help bring about change.

I tell God that I feel overwhelmed and I do not think that I am equipped to handle these kinds of clients.

I hear Him respond, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice.' For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners." (Matthew 9:12-13)

I enjoy working with those people who are aware of their brokenness and partnering with God to become whole. But, they are already on the path to eternal life. It is those who are still walking the road straight to destruction that most need mercy. These are the people that Jesus intentionally ministered to. Why am I so surprised that He is asking me to pursue them with Him?

I don't say it aloud, but I think, "Can't you just send them to someone else? They don't really want to work with me anyways."

I hear Peter speak, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God." (John 6: 68-69)

Jesus gently reminds me that I have words of eternal life because His Spirit lives within me. I can offer these especially broken and miserable people life because I have believed and have come to know that Jesus is the Holy One of God. God asks me, "Jody, to whom shall I send them, if not to you?"

I know that I have to respond in obedience because I love the One who asks me. But, my heart is also moved with compassion toward those who are so precious to Him. I choose to lean into God and ask Him to enable me to do this beautiful and painful work that is so important to Him. I commit more time to intercession for my clients and choose to see them as the flock entrusted to my care. I don't want to abandon them to the harsh elements because I grow weary of caring for them and feel inadequate. I remember that my struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against powers and principalities and I put on the full armor of God every day (Ephesians 6:10-18). I rejoice that God has invited me to join Him in this work of healing and I entrust myself and my work to His loving leadership. I ask God to do the impossible and bring eternal life and freedom to the most desperate of people.

Still Counting Gifts:
  • #650: A new work schedule for a new season of work
  • #651: How inadequacy always reminds me of my incredible need for God
  • #652: Our Christmas tree framing the window and adding beauty to the house
  • #653: An unexpected phone call with a dear friend living far away
  • #654: How a long drive can be soothing
  • #655: Taking a long nap in the middle of the day for the sheer pleasure of it
  • #656: Psalm 46:10 and how God always knows how to help me be still and send the anxiety away as I think of the truth that He is God
  • #657: One of my colleagues sponsored yummy Chinese food for lunch
  • #658: Time at the HOP to start my week well

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