Wrap It Up Ugly

Our thought life defiles us. Why? Because “…from within, out of a person’s heart, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, eagerness for lustful pleasure, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness. All these vile things come from within…” Mark 7:21-23 (NLT)

Well, after all that ugliness listed above, we might as well pack it up and go home!! Who doesn’t find themselves somewhere in that list of things Jesus talked about in Mark? And if we didn’t see ourselves in the list just then, we might want to go back and look under the “foolishness” category! Which takes us right back to our thought life…leading us into the pride category…and so it goes. We can’t escape it, which is exactly why Jesus had to come to this earth and conquer sin and death for all of us.

I heard the expression the other day, “Wrap it up ugly.” It really struck a chord with me. Jesus didn’t end His life here on earth in a pretty way—His life ended on a Cross, with blood dripping in every direction. It was ugly in our eyes, and didn’t seem like the right ending to a King’s story. But it was, because Jesus knew what we needed to be set free. He was willing to wrap it up ugly, while we were still sinners. Like Paul, we do so many of the things we don’t want to do, and we don’t do the things we should…who else do we have but Jesus to clean up our mess every day? Jesus offers us His forgiveness in the midst of all of it, asking us to follow Him into a life of obedience. I heard that the quickest cure to disobedience is obedience. Really? It’s that simple? Yes! Jesus says, “Go and sin no more.” He doesn’t tell us to go clean up the sin…He just tells us to leave the sin behind, and keep on walking.

I heard, “It’s the hurting heart that is desperate for Jesus.” And I have to believe Jesus would say yes to that! And who doesn’t have a hurting heart, to some degree? So we all need Jesus! We don’t want to hurt, to miss, to suffer, or even to die…but we all do, eventually. And when those times come, Jesus wants us all to know that when He “Wrapped it up ugly, it became beautiful for all of us.” (This is a quote from a friend.) Jesus died and rose again so that we have a way out of our sin—even when our enemy, Satan, lies to us and tells us that we don’t! We do!! When Jesus walked this earth, the crowds flocked to Him for healing, and He helped all who came to Him. It never mattered how ugly it got, His glory outshone it all.

While Searching And Noticing the Divine today, I saw Jesus work out the ugly into something beautiful. I saw “No closure, actually become closure.” Because a surrendered heart can do that, knowing that Jesus alone said, “It is finished.” So, let’s get on with living this life for Jesus, loving the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. Mark 12:30 (NIV)