I have screwed up. I am screwed up. On some days, both can be said of me simultaneously. Some of the things I have done are so bad, I have only spoken about them aloud a few times. Somedays, try as I might, I just mess up. “It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight.”1 On my worst days, I feel like God could not possibly do anything with me or for me because of what I’ve done.
But I noticed something amazing in my Bible reading on Monday. I was reading Jesus’ genealogy in Matthew when I saw this: one girl slept with her father-in-law while pretending to be a prostitute (Tamar), One girl was a prostitute (Rahab), one girl committed adultery (Bathsheba) and her lover (David) murdered the husband, and one king “reintroduced all the moral rot and spiritual corruption that had been scoured from the country”2 (Manasseh.)
So many bad things- but the end result was the best thing- Jesus! God used screwed up people to bring about his story line. And I think He is doing the same thing today. He uses us, in all our dysfunction, to bring about something good in us, and in others.
Maybe you are thinking right now, God could not possibly do anything with me or for me because of what I’ve done.” But remember the genealogy of Jesus, and remember this: “the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.3
Even the bad details 🙂
1. Romans 7:21-22
2. 2 Kings 21:1-3
3. Romans 8:26-28