You’ve heard me bemoan it before, my propensity to be imperfectly tidy. I admire organized living environments, but, being a recovering perfectionist, I’ve never quite managed the feat.
I blame it on my artistic side that dominates the majority of my endeavors. I’d rather write a blog (or an entire novel), paint a painting, or plant untold numbers of flowers before applying the Marie Kondo Method to a closet or dragging a vacuum around a room.
Being the Christmas season, I think about the birth of Jesus. If I gaze at the serene nativity on our side table, I’m tempted to see tidy. In reality, the whole thing was messy and imperfect. No planned pregnancy, no elaborate travel itinerary to Bethlehem, no opulent hotel reservations, not even a sanitary spot to deliver a baby.
The God of the universe could have made the whole thing visually and palatially perfect, but it comforts me that he didn’t. It comforts me that instead there were diverted plans, simultaneous struggles, and confusion. It comforts me because that looks an awful lot like my life.
Then I think, maybe the birth of Jesus was perfect. Maybe I’m looking at it all wrong because there is no accidental anything when it comes to God. Perhaps his idea of perfect isn’t even close to mine. And maybe God uses messy to accomplish marvelous.
With that, I grow content with my less-than-perfect organizational skills, my imperfectly attained goals, and my derailed dreams. I can rest in knowing that not only did God not mistakenly give me a dialed-back clean gene, but that he also uses imperfection, mislaid hope, and uncharted territory to encourage me to rely on his guidance, instill beauty and holiness, and bring about his purposes.
This advent season, are there areas of your life that look a little messy, or seem to be unraveling? Look to the manger. Think of Jesus and remember that from conception to crucifixion, Jesus—the king of the universe—endured the messiness, waded through the mire, and punctured our hopelessness to find and rescue us. This Christmas, may we find peace amid imperfect, but even more, may we find Jesus.