Six-year-old Dan decided one Saturday morning to fix his parents pancakes. She found a big bowl and spoon, pulled a chair to the counter, opened the cupboard and pulled out the heavy flour canister, spilling it on the floor.
She scooped some of the flour into the bowl with her hands, mixed in most of a cup of milk and added some sugar, leaving a floury trail on the floor which by now had a few tracks left by her kitten.
Dan was covered with flour and getting frustrated. She wanted this to be something very good for Mom and Dad, but it was getting very bad.
She didn’t know what to do next, whether to put it all into the oven or on the stove, and she didn’t know how the stove worked! Suddenly, she saw her kitten licking from the bowl of mix and reached to push it away, knocking the egg carton to the floor. Frantically, she tried to clean up this monumental mess but slipped on the eggs, getting her pajamas white and sticky.
Just then she saw Dad standing at the door. Big crocodile tears welled up in Dan’s eyes. All she’d wanted to do was something good, but she’d made a terrible mess. She was sure a scolding was coming, maybe even a spanking. But her father just watched him.
Then, walking through the mess, he picked up his crying daughter, hugged her and loved her, getting his own pajamas white and sticky in the process. That’s how God deals with us. We try to do something good in life, but it turns into a mess. Our marriage gets all sticky, we insult a friend, we can’t stand our job, or our health goes sour.
Sometimes, we just stand there in tears because we can’t think of anything else to do. That’s when God picks us up and loves us and forgives us, even though some of our mess gets all over Him.
But just because we might mess up, we can’t stop trying for God or for others. Sooner or later, we’ll get it right, and then they’ll be glad we tried.