God makes beautiful things out of our mess

By Rev. Sam Kiser

Lead Pastor, Crossroads Church

A few years ago I was working as a youth pastor and part-time on a construction crew near Fort Knox, Kentucky. The reality is I know nothing about construction. I’m anything but handy.

They have names for guys like me on a crew like that … Gofer. Go for this, hand them that; that is about all I am good for.

After only a couple days with this crew I had one of the most humiliating moments of my life. We had a job laying concrete for new sidewalks throughout the city. My only job was to direct traffic around our site.

This changed at the end of a 12-hour day when storm clouds rolled in. It was game time for the gofer, who was commissioned to quickly get something to cover the freshly poured sidewalks. My boss and I grabbed a work truck, blitzed a block up the street to the lumber yard, and loaded a tarp into the back of the truck. By the time we made it back to the site it was a complete downpour.

The whole block back to the sidewalk I was rehearsing my part in saving the day. “Get out of the truck, cover the sidewalk, and save the day.”

The truck pulled up to the sidewalk and I jumped out into a huge puddle of water, and then I jumped out of the water and onto the sidewalk! I was trying to save the wet concrete from the rain and couldn’t save it from my own boot.

I have never felt so humiliated in my life as I stood there looking at my boot prints that had galloped through the wet concrete. The irony of the moment was, it stopped raining moments after. The civil engineer in charge of the project pulled up and asked, “Who’s the idiot who jumped in the concrete?” I guess I didn’t get the memo that you couldn’t stand on wet concrete.

Around Easter I’m always reminded of this story. Often it makes the cut for my sermon on Easter Sunday.  Those of us who believe in Jesus celebrate that God saves the day and makes beautiful things out of our mess. He brings dead things to life. He fixes our mistakes and makes us new again. I was a gofer I couldn’t fix the concrete on my own. I made it even worse. There was someone that day that just smiled at me despite my mistake and said, “Son, don’t worry. I can fix it.”

Happy Easter!