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Your Mess Matters

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Author:  Your Mess Matters (Zondervan, 2019)

Itinerant Preacher

Co-Planter of Hill City Church in Fayetteville, Arkansas

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Married to Lindsey

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A MYSTERIOUS ILLNESS
In December 2016, a mysterious illness caused Pastor Luke Lezon, then age 24, to quickly lose weight as he suffered with nausea and diarrhea.  When his symptoms persisted for months, his anger and confusion led to a mental and emotional breakdown.  At one point, Luke lost control, cursed God and shouted at his wife, Lindsey.  He felt that she didn’t understand or care what he was going through, andwas doing a poor job of helping him through his darkest hour -- none of which was true.  One day, Luke collapsed on the kitchen floor.  Terrified of what might happen next, Lindsey called his family for back-up.

BEAUTIFUL MESS OF BROKEN PIECES
When Luke’s mom, dad, and brother, Alex, arrived, Luke told his brother how overwhelmed and frustrated he was that doctors didn’t have any answers for him.  Trying to calm him, Alex told Luke,  “There is nothing you can do.”  Those words didn’t seem very comforting at the time, but as things settled down, Luke understood that his brother was right.  God was in control, not him,  and “God doesn’t work around the messes in your life - He works in them.”  Luke later compared the process to the Japanese art of Kintsugi, which he’d read about while doing research for a sermon.  The art uses broken pieces of pottery and a lacquer that has been mixed with gold, silver, or platinum to make the object even more beautiful than it was before it was broken.  In a similar sense, God takes our failures and sufferings and transforms them into a masterpiece more valuable than it was before our lives were broken.  The “unbroken” life Luke expected was being a healthy, budding preacher who thought God would protect him from life’s messes.

Luke grew up in Dallas, Texas, before graduating from Texas A&M University with a degree in Communication.  After graduating, Luke married Lindsey and co-planted Hill City Church in Fayetteville, Arkansas.  He also made on-line video blogs to share his thoughts about God.  The popularity of his blogs resulted in invitations to speak in different churches and events. But all of his plans seemed to be thrown out the window when debilitating nausea and diarrhea struck.  He had to quit working and eventually became bedridden, living at his parents’ home.  For months, countless tests were done, including a blood panel, urine and stool samples, a colonoscopy, and an endoscopy.  Doctors didn’t give Luke any concrete answers, causing him to think, “If God is so great, if He loves me so much, if I am His child and He wants the best for me, then why hasn’t He cleaned up this mess in my life that I’ve been praying and pleading with Him to take care of?”

By late February, 2017, as he was cleaning his protruding ribs and frail body in the shower, Luke fell down on his hands and knees and began to worship God.  In that moment, Luke said, “I felt God’s loving arms grab hold of me in such a powerful way that I couldn’t help but repent, asking Him to forgive me for the way I had reacted up to this point.  All I wanted to know was exactly what the diagnosis was and how to clean up my mess.”

In early May, doctors speculated that he had a parasite and put him on strong antibiotics, but it didn’t seem to help.  By the end of that month, Luke saw an infectious disease specialist who was able to kill the parasite.

Luke’s faith had been tested, but like the Japanese art of Kintsugi, he knows God used it to make him more beautiful, more like Christ.  He understood the discipline of letting go of his desires, being anchored to the truth that God is always with him and would give him peace, and “messes are miracle-making fertilizer.”

Guest Name / Person Interviewed or Featured in Article or Video: 
Luke Lezon
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