Saturday night we celebrated my baby sister, Melissa’s, 40th birthday, by having her a surprise party. Finally! She’s caught up with me! After 40 it all runs together, so we may as well be the same age now!
We had the party at her longtime friend, Leslie’s place, Mildred’s Meadows, in beautiful Mentone, Alabama. It’s a real, live farm, with real, live animals! We decided to have the party in one of the barns. Nothing says ‘redneck’ like having a party in a barn right?
We cleaned, covered bare walls, ran wiring, put up light fixtures, put in plug ins, and cleaned some more. We set up tables, hung decorations, prepared food, and did it all in record time! Then we waited. The birthday girl, who thought she was going to the Olive Garden was over an hour late!
As we sat waiting, I looked around and thought about what that old barn looked like before we cleaned it up and decorated; and how we’d never dreamed of having a party there before fixing the place up. We wouldn’t have wanted anyone to come in when it was dark, dirty, drafty, and just plain ugly.
Maybe, when people drove up, they thought to themselves, “I don’t want to go to a party, much less eat in an old, dirty barn!” but after they got inside, they noticed the clean, inviting, albeit chilly, atmosphere. They saw the pretty decorations, the awesome spread of food, and the coolest cake ever, and suddenly their opinions changed.
Thankfully, God doesn’t look at us that way! Thankfully, when God sees us, even when we’re cold, dark, and dirty, he sees our prettiest, cleanest, most decorated selves! He sees us the way He intended us to be!
We had to clean up the barn before we invited people in, but we need not clean up ourselves before inviting Jesus in! He doesn’t care how clean our “barns” are, He’ll come right on in and make Himself at home, He’s not afraid of a little “dirt”! And not only that, He’ll get right to work cleaning things up! And He’ll clean up like only He can. Before you know it, we’re no longer cold and dark, but we’re shining brightly and we’re smokin’ hot! Figuratively speaking.
If you think there’s too much dirt in your barn for Jesus, think again! You don’t have to be “good” to invite Him in, you only need to be willing and believe!
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Don’t judge by a man’s face or height, for this is not the one. I don’t make decisions the way you do! Men judge by outward appearance, but I look at a man’s thoughts and intentions.” 1 Samuel 15:7