Tuesday, October 31, 2006

One Slimy Job!

Last night, I spent some time outside on the deck with my kids, cleaning out a pumpkin. Of course, during this time of the year, that isn’t an uncommon sight. But, since we don’t do the whole trick or treat, and jack-o-lantern on the porch thing, one might wonder why I would be out there scooping out the biggest pumpkin I could find at the grocery store. In what has become kind of a little tradition for our family, we buy a pumpkin to get the seeds. What a tasty snack! I love roasted pumpkin seeds, and so do my kids.

There is one thing I really hate about gutting a pumpkin and separating out hundreds and hundreds of seeds, though. I hate the slimy, gooey orange gunk. It smells funny, and with the eczema I deal with starting every fall, it dries out my hands and irritates the skin. Plus, as much as I love those little seeds, when they are slime-coated, it’s like trying to grab a bar of wet soap. Seed-harvesting is no small task!

As I sat there hand-picking the seeds with my kids, the girls using spoons to keep free of the slime (once a girl, always a girl!), I got to thinking about how messy our lives can be. When I look at my life, and I see where I fall short, and the mistakes I’ve made, and the attitudes I try hard to ward off, it seems that God really has his work cut out for him. It seems that the slime just never ends. Thank God he isn’t afraid to go where it smells bad. He isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty to bring me of out the gunk. And, I rejoice, because in the midst of all that slime, there are precious seeds of blessing that God is harvesting. It reminds me of one of my favorite verses in the Bible:

“And I am sure that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on that day when Christ Jesus comes back again.” Philippians 1:6

That is an immensely encouraging message for me. I know my shortcomings. I’m painfully aware of my sin. I see the areas of struggle in my life. God knows all that, too. What’s so amazing is that even though he sees everything I do, knows every thought, and hears every word, he still loves me. He cares. And he digs through the slime of my life, and tosses it aside, leaving his nature in me.

So be encouraged, friends. God is working, and he promised to see the construction job through till the end. We are works in progress, but one day, when we finally see the Jesus face to face, we will be completed works or Christ’s righteousness.

God bless!


alisa said...

Thanks for the message you have a way with words amazing how a simple thing like pumpkin seeds can give you all that and it is the truth what a mess we make of our own lives when we think we can handle it....Praise God he is there when we are ready to say I CANT DO IT ALONE.......

Roughrider said...

Aren't you glad God deals with the seeds? Those little rascals have a talent for coming up when you don't want them to.
It made me think of my neighbor who made the mistake of planting gourds and after a couple years he's got GOURDS all over the place. Seeds spring up.
May God take His good sweet time when he's dealing with our messy seeds.

michigan preacher said...

Hey, Rough, that is another way to look at it. Great thought to ponder.

Darrell said...

Very interesting analogy Jeff. I may just have to steal this one and use in an illustrated sermon.

michigan preacher said...

Anytime, Darrell.