Proverbs 14:4 “Without oxen a stable stays clean, but you need a strong ox for a large harvest”
Many of us want clean and simple lives. No mess, no dirt and no stress. The trouble is, many of us also want profitable lives too. We want our lives to make a difference, to ‘bring a harvest’ and to serve others. The reality is that these things don’t match very well. Oxen are needed to bring in a large harvest, but with oxen comes a lot of mess!
Many of us want the harvest the oxen bring, but not the mess that comes with it. The truth is, a blessed and abundant life does not always come easy. It requires work, it requires sacrifice, it requires pushing into God, it requires laying yourself down for others…and it requires getting your hands dirty.
Lots of Blessing = Lots of Mess
It’s like the stereotypical little girl who wants a Pony for her birthday, not realizing the cost of the blessing. A pony requires a stable, a field to run in, food to eat and most of all it produces excessive amounts of poo which you have to muck out every day! A lot of mess for a big blessing. Want a nice and easy life without mess? – Then your life will not count for much and will not make a difference to others. That’s the reality.
The trouble is, a lot of the mess and ‘mucking out’ goes on behind the scenes. A lot of what people will see is a blessed life, but not necessarily the work that they put into it. People may look at my life and wonder how blessed how I am, but not see what I have to sacrifice and how I have gotten my hands messy.
Steven Furtick preached a great message on this a few weeks ago, as he was disappointed that his car was dirty and messy inside. But then God made him view his mess in a different light. His mess represented a Dad committed more to his kids than his car. It represented a Dad giving up time to spend with his messy kids than maintaining a clean and presentable life.