Ever since becoming a mother, I’ve had this ongoing conversation with God that goes something like this…
Me: God, why is this day so hard? Again, I feel like I’m spinning my wheels here. (insert long list of reasons I’m struggling on this particular day.)
God: You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:13)
Me: But I tried, Lord. Did you see how difficult my morning was? Do you see my long list of things to do today? Have you noticed the behavior I’m up against in this very moment with these boys you’ve blessed me with? How am I supposed to seek you when I can’t even fit the rest of my life in to today?
God: Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. (Psalm 100:1-2)
Me: But when God? How can I serve my family well and still find time to seek you, to worship you? I can barely see past the next minute. I am desperate Father. And honestly, I don’t FEEL like serving or worshiping joyfully today.
God: Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Colossians 3:23-24
Can you hear the heart-work needing to be done here? A weary mom in need of Jesus. Whenever I am in this place, where the mountain in front of me is all I can see and I’m searching for answers with an unbelieving heart and an attitude full of ungratefulness, I know, deep down, something is very wrong. I’ve lost my eternal perspective and I’m not looking to the One who can move that mountain or help me climb over it. But when we’re in this place, staring hard at the present realities in our day, and everything we’re doing feels like a burden or a struggle we’re wishing God would just take away…what do we do with that?
My feelings. They’re a big problem for me. I rely on them way too often. God tells us they can’t be trusted, an still….I do. I’m addicted to my feelings, especially the ones that cause me to fear I’m doing it all wrong, that true Peace will evade me forever. I tell myself I should be better at motherhood by now. I get angry with myself for finding my way to this place again…the same old cycle of knowing God is for me but not really believing it.
So how is it that this bible believing mama struggles so? I think it’s because our belief becomes divided and dulled when our focus and perspective are stretched thin in the constant daily demands of motherhood. Remember Jeremiah 29:13…You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.
Clearly, I’ve have a divided heart. I think as moms, we get so used to being so task oriented. We want something tangible to hang on to, something we can see with our eyes and declare “accomplished”, marked off the list. However, God is not a “to-do” list item. He is our all, the beginning and the end. He calls us to seek Him first in all things and this doesn’t happen accidentally. It is a day in and day out, moment by moment, life long, active pursuit of Jesus that requires a humble faith that is willing to trust even when it doesn’t make sense.
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Those are pretty specific instructions, aren’t they?
Those God breathed words hold the kind of Truth a weary mama needs to grab hold of and run with. Let’s take these life-giving instructions and apply them to motherhood.
A friend of mine, who helps keep me accountable in so many ways, challenged me to something a little over a year ago when I was really struggling to find Peace in my day. Our boys were 1, 3, 5 and 7 at the time…that alone was exhausting. I felt as if I was stuck in a cloud all the time, never able to form a whole thought and feeling as though I was failing in every area of my life. I was depleted. The enemy capitalized on this and my sweet sister helped me to see that it was definite spiritual warfare I was dealing with. I would try to read my bible, to gain some small glimpse of hope and comfort….nothing. Even my desperate and pleading prayers felt as though they were falling flat.
This is when she challenged me to get down on my knees, physically down on my knees….even lower if I could, and pray. At the time, I didn’t know what difference that would make, but I loved God and agreed. I was desperate and weary….ready for a positive change.
Later that same day, I waited for a quiet moment (not easy to find) and retreated to my room, closed the door and got down on my knees. Already, I could feel something different…reverence, humility bubbling within my heart. I brought my tired self all the way down to the floor and began to pray. And as I poured out my pleas for God’s help, He began to lovingly fill my heart with Scripture that I had read before…nothing I had memorized, but I knew it was the Holy Spirit bringing these words, His own Word to my mind. I confessed my lack of trust, my unbelief. I asked Him to search me and reveal anything needing brought out into the light. And He did. I could feel His strength building within me as I continued to pray. I could feel His power and my confidence in Jesus, returning.
He was showing me that even during all those time when I sat down to read His Word and nothing really jumped out at me, that it wasn’t wasted. It was God’s way of preparing me, hiding His Word in my heart, for when I was ready to truly seek Him. And those pleading prayers I had prayed…God heard every one of them and was working in me even when I didn’t know it.
His Grace and Love had been there all along. But my thankfulness and humility had been lacking. Once I was able to seek Him with my whole heart, I began to see many things in a different light.
That day, as I dropped to my knees before my God, I began to realize just how filled with my own pride, lack of trust and even my prayerlessness, I had truly been. Once I came to the end of myself and asked God to take over, He ever so graciously began building me back up again. And I was assured, Jesus was right there with me every step of the way.
Moms, I want to challenge us to really seek God with our WHOLE hearts. Kneel before Him if you can, sing to Him the song He’s placed on your heart, begin practicing the art of being thankful. Find something to praise Him for every day. And watch what Jesus does. Not only do we need this, but so do our families.
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