It was one crazy morning. The baby had a fever, cold, and a newly emerging molar. He was on day three of being up at 4am. The two girls were at each other over everything—including where to sit at the breakfast table. And Judah. He was doing a splendid job of not missing any opportunity for mischief.
The sink full of dishes beckoned me. I had visions of turning the water up so high that the noise of water would temper all the voices, making them come together like one large imaginary beach scene. I turned worship music on and started sinking down into the Lord like a nice long swim. I had a whole day ahead and I knew I needed Jesus—and a few minutes of this little dirty dish getaway.
As I pushed up my sleeves to get started, I heard the smallest little voice next to me…”help me up, mama. I’m here to keep you company—me and my cars are gonna race right next to you.” I wanted to feel defeated. I wanted to send him away for a few minutes, but I caught myself bending down to lift him up onto his perch—right next to me on the counter. I caught myself trusting Jesus to meet me thru the noise and the endless chatter. I caught myself being filled with joy that came from no other source but Jesus….and eventually I caught Him using little Judah to minister to my heart.
As I was washing, I turned to see Judah with a little grimace on his face. He was upset that the flower he picked for me the night before was already brown and dead.
“Why did it get old and wrinkly and dead so fast? I loved it for you,” he said.
“Do you know what makes a flower die when you pick it? A flower dies because it is no longer attached to the stem and the root. They stem and roots give the plant and flowers all the food they need to stay healthy. They may look pretty for a while, but eventually they will die. And some, like this one—die really quickly,” I told him.
“Ooohhhh….like if I was picked away from you and daddy—that would be so bad..because you feed me and keep me safe,” he said.
“YES, Judah! That is very good. And it is like that for you and Jesus. He tells us to remain in Him—to stay so close to Him, so that we can live without worrying or being afraid,” I said.
The Lord showed me almost instantly how He was trying to encourage me…
Abiding in Jesus…remaining in Him…drinking from His life-giving water—it requires a childlike faith in our Father’s provision in ALL things. It requires we come to His table knowing that all the things He has prepared for us are good (because He is good) and perfect (because He is perfect). The Bible says in Psalm 23 “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies”…He prepares a table. He prepares it in the presence of fear, worry, anxiety and lack. If I close my eyes, I can almost see Him lovingly laying out uniquely detailed provision to the sweetest and most glorious symphony of music—completely unmoved by the darkness that lurks. And He looks to us and says, “Come…abandon your plans and your striving. Sit and dine. Come and find rest.”
The moment we question His provision and step out from under His shelter, we naturally become anxious, fearful, worried…irritated. We feel this way because we have left our Father’s table. And when we are anxious, fearful, worried or irritated, we are no longer abiding in Christ. Jesus has no unrest within Himself.
I am so guilty of multitasking my mind. I think probably many of us mamas are. Sometimes my days kind of look like a monkey swinging from branch to branch without ever fully grasping the branch He is on—its good for moving quickly, but not good for taking in the scenery. Sometimes I catch myself brushing my teeth, buttoning a tiny toddler shirt…noticing the floor needs to be cleaned and making a grocery list all at the same time. I can get so caught up in the time that isn’t mine just yet and miss the moment right in front of me—the moment to put my toothbrush down for a second, shut out the urge to make a list and look into my little one’s eyes while I button up his little shirt—to notice his crooked little smile and to really delight in the beauty of God that has been divinely placed in him. And if I am not careful, I get my mind so set on an imaginary moment that may or may not ever happen (how I think the Lord will meet me over my sink of dishes) that I miss the REAL one—the opportunity to scoop up an inquisitive little one..to place little flickers of divine truth into his little heart and mind.
Do you know what happens when I come and sit at my Father’s table—when I trust His provision? Well, today I quickly realized that my time is not really mine…that while I am bound by clocks and hours and days, the God of the universe is not. I stopped fretting about how I would make it thru the day with joy and peace and trusted that it was already laid out for me—everything I needed for that moment and that day, spread out lavishly. I stopped thinking I had to do something to meet with Jesus and began to see that being with Him is as simple as coming to my Father’s table and sitting down. He gave me all the grace I needed to slow down, rest and love the little one that was in front of me and love him well.
Ahhhh, and what better life to lead before God…before our children and those around us than one of faith and holy confidence in Him and His grace—not in our own merit, but in God’s mercy and goodness. And this is a mercy that He gives freely. This is a mercy that is always…ALWAYS…all sufficient and has in it our perfect portion and joy.
Sometimes I think the things He is teaching me and leading me in are very small things, especially when they have their origins in the mundane of everyday life. But do you know what happens to a lifetime of small mundane moments that are devoted to Jesus? They become the most beautiful symphony of worship. Every thing we do—from the smallest to the largest is meant to be in ministry to the Lord. What better ministry to the Lord can we have than that of a life led in restful submission to our Father—of a life of remaining hidden in Christ in all things.
Judah asked me if I thought he’d be like the flower plucked from its roots and stem—dry, brown and dying—if he were to be removed from the shelter and provision of his daddy. It caused me to think about how deeply I cling to and trust the provision of my Father…how, in the same way, the areas of my life that remain unyielded to Him—that attempt to have their existence outside of Him (however small and insignificant those areas are) will be dry and dying. Am I fretful about time (even time spent with Jesus), am I consumed with worry over finances or to-do lists or the future. Am I mothering from a seemly dry well? Where there is worry, I am not abiding. And where I do not abide, I will be dry and dying.
…Then I became in His eyes as one who finds peace…
Song of Solomon 8:10