When Life Seems Too Messy

The paint didn’t look like I had expected as I examined my brush strokes on the wall. In the store, the paint color swatch advertised a delicate, pale green — “Soft Meadow” — that I thought would look calm and peaceful in my dining room. Instead, the wet paint was more of a dingy grayish-white shade.

… this isn’t what I asked for, I grumbled as I climbed the ladder for the thousandth time.

Somewhere between painter’s tape and paint runs, I thought about God and His plan. So many times, I look at things that happen in life and think “this isn’t what life was supposed to be”. We picture in our minds what a new family, marriage, baby, home, job, friendship, church, or relationship will be like. However, in reality, life is much more messy than our picture-perfect ideal. The reality of life, just like my grayish-white wet paint, just doesn’t match the advertised paint chip.

Ever feel like that?


In the times when life just seems too messy, we just have to trust that God is still in control. That somehow, in the mess and chaos of life, that He makes beauty.

When we stop fighting for control of the details, the Creator makes a masterpiece…. from the mess.


Could we even look into the mess and see His hand at work? Even when life doesn’t look like we expected, could we find the beauty within the messy?

As my wall paint dried, the unbelievable occurred. The grayish-white paint revealed a beautiful, calm green… just like a “Soft Meadow”! Amazed, I just stared at the paint brush in my hand — still wet, and very much a depressing grayish-white — and the dried paint on the wall. Amazingly, the same paint transformed as it dried to reveal a completely different color! While the paint was drying, I hadn’t noticed the change that was occurring.

God is painting a beautiful piece of art with each piece of our lives, all expertly blended to become much more than we could imagine. We might not realize that He is at work in our lives. We might not be able to tell the finished piece of art is in progress. We might even feel like giving up because His hand at work is not obvious.

… but He is working. He is creating, and molding our lives… and our hearts.


When the painters tape came off, and the wall paint had dried, I smiled at the new beautifully, peaceful green room. It turned out better than I even imagined, and the white window trim looks so beautiful against the sage green walls. All the work and mess had been worth it after all.

We have to make the choice today to trust that when God removes His painter’s tape from our lives, that we will see the beauty He has been at work creating.

Today’s mess will be tomorrow’s masterpiece.

“being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it… ~ Phil 1:6



  • http://livedwell.blogspot.com Stacy

    What a lovely post! I had to giggle, though, at your paint story. The last time I painted our living area I chose a color called “Pumpkin Bread.” Yes, orange, but such a pretty shade. In the store. We brushed those first strokes on the wall and my daughter said “Ooooo….Nickelodeon orange!” To her a good thing. To me, sheer panic. It did dry to my nice pumpkin-y shade. Thank goodness.

  • http://www.leahdipascal.com Leah DiPascal

    Melanie, your post is exactly what I needed to read today!

    You’re absolutely right – things in life can often times not turn out the way we had planned. If we can only trust Him through the process and not give up hope, He will reveal the beautiful outcome He had waiting for us all along.

    Leah :)

  • Casey

    This is a beautiful post!

  • Marietta Warkentin

    Thank you Melanie! A good post for today as I wrestle with my turbulent thoughts and emotions. “What is God doing in this sort of mess, I call my life?” After a long 17 years in the same apartment that I have called my home, raised my two sons in, lovingly grown my little postage stamp garden and faith walk , and created much in my tiny art studio corner, I am being evicted. It is my fault I know, as I cannot seem to find enough steady work to pay my full monthly rent and have been battling my diabetes. But it is going to be a big change coming. I don’t know where to or what I will be doing. I must believe and trust that even in this, God has me securely in His hands, and will work all things for good. Sometimes I just wish I could see things from His perspective and make some sense of it all.

  • Sherrie Roderick

    This is the scripture the Lord has been giving me all week. Thank you for this message. Just lovely.

  • http://empoweringlives4him.wordpress.com/ Melissa

    I so needed to hear this today! I have to learn to have more patience and know that He is working on my behalf and has great plans for me.

  • http://myfreshlybrewedlife.com Barbie

    I am so thankful for a God who takes the messes in my life and makes them beautiful!

  • http://knitiosynchrasies.com Alethea

    You are the second blogger I have read today who has posted about God’s making sense out of the mess we create in our lives. And, along with Priscilla Shirer’s Gideon Bible study which I’m currently in the midst of, and which has a very similar theme, I’m beginning to think the Lord is knocking me upside the head with a certain idea!

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  • http://www.messmuddleandfun.blogspot.com Carolyn

    A great post and a good reminder.

  • Cindy

    Greetings in Jesus’ Name! What a wonderful illustration of God’s unconditional love and grace in our lives. Thank you so much for sharing this. I really like colorful things, and this devotion added to my joy of God, colors, and five senses with which to enjoy them. :) God bless you richly!

  • Becky W.

    I re-read this post in my email today (I save the ones that really speak to me) and it was exactly what I needed to read today! I struggle with patience and control issues. I have always wanted to just hurry up and get to the next stage of whatever it is I’m dealing with. I really think what God is teaching me at this stage in my life is to relax and enjoy whatever stage I am currently in. Maybe I will catch something or learn something about myself that I would have missed had I just rushed on. Thank you so much for your blog!!!