I’ve been feeling a bit undone today.
Let’s be honest – not just today. I’m not really sure when it started, but my spirit is feeling restless and crowded.
Sometimes life just sidles up and catches you off guard. The mornings filled with all the chaos and noise that accompanies homeschooling, the dishes that won’t stop getting dirty and the mountains of laundry to be folded. The work assignments that pile up and the messages that need to be answered. The play dates with friends … basketball for one kid, taekwondo for the other… the lineup of needs that call to you every time you think you’ll catch a minute for yourself.
I know the many details of your life are different than mine, but do you feel it with me? That out of breath feeling where you think the edges just might be fraying but you haven’t stopped to look long enough to find out? And honestly, maybe you’re a little scared to look too closely. Because if we don’t stop, maybe we won’t notice how we’re falling apart on the inside. That giving 100% of yourself doesn’t meet all the needs around you – and at the end of the day, there’s just not enough of you to go around?
I keep waiting for life to slow down so I can catch a glimpse of God – but through the noise I keep hearing Him say, “find me here”.
Find Him here? In all this mess and noise?
How do I quiet my soul in this loud world to hear God’s gentle whisper?
I was putting up a nativity in my bedroom the other night – and I found myself cradling the manger a little longer than normal. Like if I held on to that cold ceramic Jesus for a few extra minutes, He might warm my heart a bit.
Then, as I reached for the wise man to set him next to Jesus, I found myself holding my breath – it was like I was feeling an unexpected tinge of envy over the gift that magi was holding out to Jesus. I found my mouth uttering these words, “What do I have left for you Lord? What do I have to offer you here at the end of this day?”
And then these words come back to me from Oswald Chambers – “My personal life may be crowded with small petty incidents, altogether unnoticeable and mean (average); but if I obey Jesus Christ in the haphazard circumstances, they become pinholes through which I see the face of God, and when I stand face to face with God I will discover that through my obedience thousands were blessed… If I obey Jesus Christ, the Redemption of God will rush through me to other lives, because behind the deed of obedience is the Reality of Almighty God”
Pinholes through which I see the face of God!
There it is! In that moment, as I saw a wise man holding out his gift in a little Nativity on my dresser tonight, I saw myself. My gift isn’t made of gold and doesn’t smell of Frankincense, but it holds the same value to Jesus. And as I plunge my hands into a sink full of dirty dishes, tackle that laundry mountain with renewed energy, or just simply let my heart wrap around this gift of mothering these 3 loud and wonderful children, I feel the hardness seep out of my heart as I let myself offer these gifts to God. My gift is obedience in this moment. My gift to Him is this moment.
Here in this moment, this tired spirit hears these words from Psalm 51, and I am renewed: “My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise.”
He doesn’t want all that I do, He wants all that I am. I know this – I have pleaded with others to believe it. And yet somehow I stumble into this lie that I just need to finish this next thing, and then I’ll have more time for Jesus. That if I can just get past this next deadline, this next week full of appointments and to do lists, then I will finally have time to rest and seek His face. That these mundane chores and interruptions are what’s keeping me from a deeper walk with Jesus – all while He’s waiting to meet me in the chores and through the interruptions.
“Peter walked on water to go to Jesus, but followed Him afar off on the land… it requires the supernatural grace of God to live 24 hours in every day as a saint, to go through drudgery as a disciple, to live an ordinary, unobserved, ignored existence as a disciple of Jesus. It is inbred in us that we have to do exceptional things for God; but we have not. We have to be exceptional in the ordinary things, to be holy in mean streets, among mean people, and this is not learned in five minutes” – Oswald Chambers
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us” 2 Corinthians 4:7
Lord, help me – help us all – find You here in this place. Right here where we are. And may we gaze up the shafts of our moments of obedience to find your face!