I see so much of myself in little Adalei.
Today she was helping me water plants. She was so focused on joyfully helping me, but then she quickly became focused on the task in front of her. Helping me was no longer her objective, it was the actual task of watering plants. It didn’t take long for her to become demanding to her older sister and harsh with her little brother. He was totally getting in her way and causing her task to take much longer than before (so I completely empathized with her frustration). Either her rhythm had to change in order to accommodate her little brother or she would grow extremely frustrated. The ladder occured.
I called her to me.
The words that came out of my mouth stopped me.
“Addie—you are Jesus oriented…then people oriented…then task oriented. Working like this-in frustration-is not how you were created to work. If you slow down and listen to Jesus, you would hear He is so proud you are loving Him by honoring mommy—but you’d also hear that He wants you to love the people around you more than the task in front of you. He always calls you to love—the task is never more important.”
I almost choked on that last sentence—how the Holy Spirit just entered in and side swiped me! My eyes filled…I encouraged Addie that she is a lot like her mommy….that I wanted her to walk in all the Lord has for her and not let the enemy rob her—even for a second—of who she is created to be…a lover first and a doer second. I admitted to her that mommy made mistakes when I was young and that I am still learning to let the Lord reshape my heart to be what He made it to be.
I get busy.
I get distracted.
I easily slide into a life of serving others before I’ve been served by Him.
I can so easily be task oriented and disciplined…so much so that I forget to keep care of my heart, that I leave a place of rest…and I sweat and strive and I become unable to change my rhythm to match His. And I make messes. And my serving is tired…cranky, even…selfish, if that even makes sense.
A few days ago, the Lord spoke this passage from Ezekiel 44 to me…
“They shall enter My sanctuary, and they shall come near My table to minister to Me, and they shall keep My charge….they shall not bind themselves with anything that causes sweat..” (vs 16, 18)
Previous to these verses, the Lord speaks of the priests that minister to the people. BUT here, He speaks to the priests that minister to Him. I love that He will not allow sweat at His table. I love that He smashes absolutely everything we think we can do out of “work” to enter His Presence….we are called to shed all of those things and be with Him.
Those priests are eventually filled with His Presence…they naturally spill over to those around them. I imagine it isn’t like a slow trickle-type spill like the ones who minster to the people all day…but it is likely a gush…a flow. AND unlike the others, their orientation is not the people…or the task. Their orientation is Jesus. It reminds me a lot of the contrast between Mary and Martha. It wasn’t that Martha was serving—it was that the orientation—focus—was the task and not Jesus. It was the sweat she carried into His presence.
What freedom to be called into His Presence to Minister to Him…to abandon the sweaty things and exchange them for simply loving Him, being filled at His table…not for the purpose of ministering to others—they get the spill over because Jesus is good and His glory cannot be contained—but people are never the purpose—tasks are never the purpose for being filled. Jesus is the purpose—to reflect His glory and His nature.
I’m scribbling those words down that the Lord gave me to speak to Adalei. I am scribbling them everywhere to remind myself to be unbound from the things that make me sweat—to bind myself to His rest. I am convinced those words are just as much (if not more) for me than for her. I love how He uses every single thing <3