Oxen make messes

I was reading my Bible this morning and was in Proverbs. I had prayed before I read that the Lord would show me something I needed to see and really speak to me this morning. My eyes were immediately drawn to this verse:

“Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox.” Proverbs 14:4

oxenI am not even sure WHY my eyes were drawn there. It was in the bottom middle of the page, and it was not even highlighted. I am not 100% sure what this verse means, but the first thing that came to my mind, that I felt God speak to me was

Emily, your children are like oxen. You have a home that you are raising them in. Yes, you could have had less children, or no children, and your home would be clean, but you would never see the strength of family and what it can do for my kingdom. There is a greater purpose than just having a clean home or a dirty home when it comes to children.

I truly believe the Lord quietly gave me those words in my heart this morning. I sometimes get into my control mode, where I want to control EVERYTHING. I need everything “perfect”. I need a “schedule” because THAT is what and so’s book said is best (hence the reason I wrote THIS BLOG the other day). My husband told me, after venting in frustration that I always am tired, that I would probably be LESS tired if I just stopped trying so hard and stopped thinking about all I needed to do and just be. Just live.

I think that is what the Lord was showing me in this verse.

Sometimes, I start thinking about my to do list. I start thinking that I forgot to buy the meat for the chili, that I need to get stamps, that I need to get the laundry out of the washer before it gets mildew on it. I get frustrated over cleaning up the same messes every 5 min, when in reality… I have children. Some messes just need to be left alone.

Some messes are because the oxen are strengthening the field to produce abundant crops.

messy kidsMaybe I need to start looking at the messes in life as opportunities to strengthen my children to the Word of God and to prepare them to be fruit. I need to look at the messes of life as ways that my children are learning and growing. I need to look at it as ways the Lord is strengthening them so that as they grow and mature, the Lord is shaping and preparing our family to harvest the fields. He is preparing them to be salt and light.

We cannot have fruit without making a mess first.

Growing crops takes work. It is messy. You get dirty. It may look worse and MORE dirty before it looks pretty and neat. You don’t just magically have a crop of apples, or corn, or pumpkins. It takes messes. It takes digging up soil. It takes getting dirty. You will have dirt under your nails…

but the end result is worth the dirt and messiness

The same is true for raising children. Sure, my house may not be as clean as it was before children. There may be inches of dust on some of the furniture. There may be laundry in the dryer (which, even as I write this, there is! Better there, than the washer! HAHA). You may forget to thaw dinner and have to eat PB&J for dinner. Teaching your children may require messes.

Teaching them about the beauty of nature may require getting leaves in their hair, sand in their shoes and dirt under their nails. It may require an extra bath that day…. but won’t the result be worth it? Isn’t it a blessing to be able to use life to teach about the glory of God?

It may require our LIVES being messy. We all have messes in our lives. Emotional messes, life choice messes, frustration and chaos that seem to muddle things up, etc etc etc.

BUT:

We cannot teach our children about the grace, mercy and love of Jesus without making a few messes.

In fact, sometimes, it is the BIGGEST messes that turn into the biggest fruit. Sometimes it is the messiest people who end up making the biggest difference for Christ.

Will you be blessed in the mess today? 🙂

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