Why God Does Want Your Messy Heart

downloadToday’s post is from Maggie Paulus’ new book, Finding God at the Kitchen Sink: Search for Glory in the Everyday Grime.

This is a book that  just causes you to exhale…I’ve never read a book that actually destresses me while I’m reading it. Her beautiful pictures and short, but powerful essays on everyday life connect right to your heart.

I hope you enjoy this one that I got permission to share.


Jesus says, “Come.”

I get that.

All day long I tell my kids to come to me. They come with their snotty noses, and I wipe them. Or they come with their grimy hands, and I wash them. Or with their hungry bellies, and I give them something good to eat, some sustenance to fill them up.

So when Jesus says Come, I know what He means. He means simply this: Come with your messy self. I see you’re hungry-hearted. I know you’re a wreck. Now come over here. Come, right now. I’ve got what you need.

I’m thankful Jesus is like that. And I’m glad He doesn’t say, Wait. Wait till you’ve got it all together. Don’t come near Me with your messy heart. Fix yourself. Get it right. Dust yourself off and make yourself look good. And when you feel better because you look better, then you can come.

Jesus doesn’t call the righteous do-gooders to come to Him. He doesn’t beckon the impressive hoity-toities. He calls the broken and disheveled. The battered and scuffed up. You know, the ones who actually need Him.

That would be me.

I’m also glad Jesus doesn’t say, Oh, and one more thing. You can come, but first you need to know some more stuff about Me. So take some time and fill your head plumb full of God-knowledge. Then when you know all the right things and you can spout out all the right answers, come. Because that’s what the Pharisees did. They thought God would accept them if they knew lots of stuff and if they performed in all the right ways. But all their God-knowledge did was puff them up and trip them up. They were too full of pride
to come to Him with their messy hearts. In fact, they didn’t even realize they had messy hearts.

So Jesus says come. And He calls the people who are tired, who’ve worn themselves out. The ones who have a lot on their minds and more than they realize on their hearts. The ones
weighed down by life, exhausted from just living. And the neat thing is, the only criteria Jesus requires of us to come is to simply feel our need for Him.

Because we’re depleted. And we’re a wreck. And we don’t have what it takes.

This is the sweet promise He makes: I’ll give you rest. And He does. He gives us soul rest.

So I come. I come to Him as I actually am so I can know Him as He actually is. The God who fills a hungry heart and satisfies it with Himself. The One who can take an anxious soul and calm and quiet us with His love.

I don’t wait till I’m better.

I come. Because that’s the way Jesus would have it.

This God who is always for us, always, always for us—He aims to give us rest.

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:28



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3 thoughts on “Why God Does Want Your Messy Heart

  1. Jill, I’m blown away by your kindness. I can’t thank you enough, really, that you’d take time to read through my book and then post an excerpt on your space here in the internet world.

    Thank you, thank you. (Times one million.)

    And I’m shouting out the message of Hearts at Home all over my own internet space, too. Thank you for encouraging me. And for using your life to help other people with theirs. You’re such a life-giving person.

    Maggie Paulus

    • When a marriage partner choses to have sex outside of marriage, especially a man, do you believe it is because he isn’t satisfied with his wife, is bored, or doesn’t care about being in a monogamous relationship. When a woman knows this about her man before she enters into marriage do you agree that she wouldn’t feel like he wanted to be totally committed to her? What are ur thoughts?

      • I think there are MANY reasons why a partner may choose to pursue a relationship outside of marriage. Finding the root of the issue is key to healing and rebuilding trust. While the spouse who is left may contribute to the dysfunction of the relationship (all relationships are dysfunctional in some way), they in no way CAUSE the affair. Affairs happen when people have real feelings, but choose wrong responses to those feelings. As far as commitment goes, certainly when trust is broken, commitment is questioned. However, when you are the one betrayed, you have to work to not make it about you. It’s about them and their choices. That’s not to say you don’t have to look at what you contribute negatively to the relationship, but his decision to stray is his choice, not because of you.