I so clearly remember how I wanted to be a mother. I watched new moms with their babies, and dreamed of holding a new baby of my own. Holding and bathing. Feeding and changing–a life of meeting my baby’s needs.
And then, I became a mother.
Four children in six years. Months and months of sleep deprivation. Over seven years of continuous pregnancy and breastfeeding. Stumbling out of bed. Falling asleep in the rocker. Living for nap time, and then trying to make it to bed time.
And as the years have passed from those infant and toddler days, the needs have changed, yes, but the wear feels the same.
Endless demands. Busy bodies, and numerous activities. Purposing to engage minds, and laboring to train hearts. Breaking up fights, and cultivating teamwork amidst all the selfish tendencies.
This mothering work is never-ending work.
Here and now, holy work.
Most days the chaos distorts my view, and makes me suspect we’re spinning our wheels, making no progress at all.
As I’ve been parked in Romans 8 for the past few months, meditating and memorizing Paul’s words, I continue to be surprised by the way God’s Word changes the perspective of my heart. And mostly the reciting has preached right at me, and I’ve become overwhelmed, again and again, by the great love of our God.
A love beyond my ability to comprehend.
A love that sought me out before I even was.
A love that created me and crafted me after His own heart,
And then chose me to be His own.
A love that purposed to rescue me when I didn’t even want to be rescued. And a love that holds me when rescuing is all I’m begging for.
A love that never leaves me, and never forsakes me. No matter the craziness of my days or the spinning chaos of my heart.
I’m being reminded,
God sees us in our chaos, and He joins us even there. [Tweet that]
He is Present. And aware. He is God with us.
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who could be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him, graciously give us all things? Romans 8:31-32 (ESV)
He is with us,
And He is for us.
We are His children–children of God and fellow heirs with Christ.
It makes no logical sense at all. But He has made it so.And it makes me bow, with profound gratitude for what He’s done. But the chaos. I don’t feel thankful for the chaos.
But here’s the thing. He graciously gives us ALL things, even this chaos I’m living. It too is indeed His gift.
The very thing that is spinning me is meant to strengthen me.
He means it to bless me, and change me.
Gratitude is not a feeling, it’s a muscle–God giving you heavy weights to build you up to be stronger. ~Steven Furtick
It’s easy to give thanks for being made His. But giving thanks for the chaos that is my everyday days?
This chaos seems more complicated. Like it needs to be solved or eradicated from my life in order to be worthy of thanks. As if giving thanks would validate its purpose, and resign my heart to enduring its messiness.
Because I prefer everything to be calm, predictable, and in order–packaged all pretty with a big bow on top.
But pretty with big bows on top aren’t my reality.
There was a time I was thick in my own mess. Spiritually gone, and completely dead.
And then, God initiated my rescue. It was all Him.
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:4-7 (ESV)
His mercy and great love resuscitated me.
The truth is, He has made me alive with Christ. He has raised me up, and seated me there with Christ at His right hand.
Oh if I could just remember to see the view from up there.
I am His child. His heir. Adopted and grafted in.
As a mother I love my children, and I take great delight in giving them gifts. And if God loved me like that even before I was His child, rescuing and resuscitating even me, how much more does He want to graciously give me gifts, now that I am His?
My chaotic life is a gift, even when I don’t feel like it is. [Tweet that]
And when I choose to give thanks not only for His mercy and love, but for this chaos I live, I am changed.
Changed by acknowledging His goodness, and moved by seeing His kindness, even in this gift.
I am a joy-fighter. Giving thanks, and fighting for joy.
And He is with me even here.
What are you facing that doesn’t feel like a gift?
How can giving thanks in even this bring you joy?