03 November 2014

Clark Kent Is On the Bus!

John 4:7-15
 A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, "Give me a drink." (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.)
The Samaritan woman said to him, "How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?" (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, 'Give me a drink,' you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water." The woman said to him, "Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock."
Jesus said to her, "Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water."

This is a story with which most any church goer is pretty familiar. Jesus teaches us how to worship him, in spirit and in truth. But in my reading of Desiring God (which is a must-read, by the way!!), Piper used this passage to comment on prayer as our fuel for joy in God, and it really struck me. I could hardly finish reading through this paragraph before I was so driven to worship my God in prayer...and to ask! Because the God of the universe knows me and is aquatinted with what is going on in my life and I had to come to him! He is the living water. In Him is the power for that work thing you're struggling with, or that seemingly unmanageable toddler or fill in the blank. In Him alone is the power to do all things for His glory (2 Cor 9:8). 

Please read, and pray to the GOD who can {whatever the need, whatever the situation}! Piper writes, 

"...'If you just knew the gift of God and who I am, you would ask Me - you would pray to Me!' There is a direct correlation between not knowing Jesus well and not asking much from Him...'If you knew who was talking to you, you would ask Me!' A prayerless Christian is like a bus driver trying alone to push his bus out of a rut because he doesn't know Clark Kent is on board. 'If you knew, you would ask.' A prayerless Christian is like having your room wallpapered with Saks Fifth Avenue gift certificates but always shopping at Goodwill because you can't read. 'If you knew the gift of God and who it is that speaks to you, you would ask - YOU WOULD ASK!'"


24 January 2014

The Sanctification of [This] Mom

"The days are long, but the years are short." You've heard that cute, trendy little saying before and figured by that estimation this year should be over by tomorrow. ;) Ha!

So let's get into it. I have been feeling sorry for myself. I have seen myslef choosing anger or selfishness or complaining - or all of the above. Just typing that out is super humbling. I was recently reminded that complaining is telling God that what He has given me isn't enough. Guilty! I told Robert just the other day that I find myself becoming frustrated with bad attitudes and bad potty timing...  I don't raise my voice (usually) or act out, but my heart feels angry and I am sure my children can tell. In the moment I actually think that I will feel better if I let myself get angry. Which is a lie from the pits of hell. Because let me tell you, it is infinitely better when God's amazing grace allows me to respond with patience and joy!

I've said it before, and I'll say it again... Being a mom is the hardest thing I have ever done. But it is such a sanctifying blessing in my life. The JOY that I feel when Charlie laughs is unbelievable - his squeals, his honest to goodness cuddles, that smile that takes up his whole face, o my soul, that boy melts my heart! And my Maggie, as much as she tries me each day, her brilliance and beauty thrills me to no end. She has such an imagination and is so funny, and goodness, when she learns to control that spirit of hers, look out world...oh, I hope she loves Jesus with all of herself one day! 

I got a little off topic there, I'm not trying to convince you, or myself, that I love my children and think they're just the best. God certainly knows that I do. 

But what do I do when I feel alone and frustrated and self-pitying? What is going to be my motivation not to sin on days that are hard? The joy from tickle-monster and lunch eaten with a good attitude is awesome, but is it enough to transcend my flesh?! The motivation cannot just end with the fact that my children are little for only such a short time. Ultimately, the end goal must be that everything I do is for the glory of my Savior! Each sandwich I make or sweet potato I purée, every booty I wipe, each song I sing, and tiny hand I hold, when done with joy and gratitude and patience is done for God's glory! 

This really got me, David Brainard once said that he had never made a sacrifice! He lived such a meager and sacrificial life to bring the gospel to the Indians. He gave until he literally died. Each time God's grace allows me die to self, for the sake of my children or my husband or a stranger - for the sake of the gospel! - I am trading my wants for a much greater good and an invaluably higher glory. These "momentary afflictions" (2 Cor 4:16-18) are just that and Heaven lies before us - if only I can remember to think eternally. Paul wrote in 2 Cor 12, comparing himself to a parent, that he would gladly spend and be spent for the souls of the Corinthian church. 

As believers our lives are supposed to be about others anyway, right? What more tangible way to selflessly love like Christ than to be a parent! Day by day, hour by painstaking hour at times, I get to practically show love to two tiny people, who sometimes have very different ideas about how I might choose to spend my day. Preferring them above myself can be the greatest joy in my day if only I consider the gospel in all things. After all, the days are long, but the years are short; and I highly doubt I'll look back and think I gave too much or "lost too much of myself" as a mommy. Instead, maybe by God's great and faithful grace my children will one day rise up and call me "blessed."