Some weeks life seems a little like I’m flat-lining. This past week, my enthusiasm has been at a bit of a low and my energy levels have plummeted also. I wake up cranky, stay up too late doing nothing, look through green-eyed-coloured glasses at others’ lives and feel the full weight of my hands being full. Like a mobile phone’s charging cable that isn’t quite inserted properly in the phone to charge, my mind and heart haven’t been communicating properly. In my head, I know the glorious truth of God’s love and his grace in Jesus, I know that other people are struggling and so their ‘oh-so-perfect’ life is only perfect to an outsider looking in, I know I have so much to be grateful for, I know what a blessing my children are. Yet as I write this, the one thing that is getting through between my heart and mind is the knowledge that God pursues. He always has and always will.
I imagine Abraham, being invited by God outside to marvel at the stars and hear that God would make him a man of many nations. I imagine Rahab, tying the scarlet cord in her window and watching the Israelites marching around her city, hoping against hope that God would remember her, an outsider, a prostitute. I imagine David, the youngest and most insignificant son of Jesse, out on a hillside singing to his sheep, being called in and anointed by Samuel to be King. I imagine a teenage girl, being told she would grow the Saviour and mother God-on-earth. I image Paul, chained to a Roman guard, writing Spirit-inspired letters to churches that weighed heavily on his mind in spite of his hands being bound; hands that once threw rocks at Stephen. I catch a glimpse of a tired mother of three-under-five, feeling discouraged that she keeps a blog titled “Pursuits of God” and has been struggling to pursue God at all. And I take heart. God has always pursued and He keeps. When I am tired, when I’m discouraged, when I feel my burdens aren’t being laid at his feet. I can take heart. His grace covers me. He is faithful.
This morning, the sun’s rays poured through my window. As the rest of my house slept (a fairly rare occurrence that I wake before the kiddies), I was able to open the pages of the words of the Creator God. I read Acts 17. In this chapter, I came across a passage I hadn’t taken note of previously:
Now while Paul as waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him as he saw that the city was full of idols. So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be there. (Acts 17:16-17).
My Bible’s Study Notes go on to explain that Paul’s spirit being provoked was not the Holy Spirit, rather it was Paul’s human spirit being deeply troubled. He was burdened not with trivial things such as needing to get the groceries so that he had food to eat, or whether one’s house was clean; rather Paul was burdened over the fact the entire city was devoted to false gods. It made me pause. God uses the situation (Paul waiting on Silas and Timothy to come and meet him; or my time mothering littlies; or wherever you find yourself), to provide opportunities for his gospel to go forth. As Paul waited and watched and carried out his mundane business, he was burdened with the idolatry surrounding him and was overcome with a desire to see others reached for Christ. God used this situation to create an opportunity for Paul. Paul recognises it and uses the things weighing heavily on his heart and his skills of reason, to reason with those in Athens and point them to God.
God is using my moments of feeling low and weary with the responsibilities I have- washing clothes, making lunches, kissing sore legs, changing nappies etc.- to bring about his purposes too. But, I need to lift my eyes to see the eternal significance. Whether my children have a ham sandwich or a peanut butter sandwich doesn’t matter in light of eternity; me taking time to answer my children’s questions about the way God speaks to us as we eat these sandwiches does. I have found in my short 5 years of being a mother, my kiddies don’t wait until I’m sitting down reading my Bible to ask the big questions, instead it is often while I am on the run. It needs me to take the time to stop and pray and respond and pray some more. Likewise, running into a friend at the grocery story who shares she’s having a tough time, or organising a playdate with a fellow mum, require the time for me to stop and recognise the moment and pray that God would open my eyes to his purposes.
Today, this post is helping me process my feelings of being low and weary. Recognising God is working is important. Acknowledging that I have responsibility to spend time with God is important too. But most of all, I can rest in the understanding that God pursues, God uses and God creates the opportunities. May I and may you dear friend lift our eyes so that we can see our day-to-day in light of eternity and clear our schedule enough so that we can embrace the opportunities that arise. He is faithful and is in the business of using the mundane to bring about moments to savour and celebrate.
Last week we celebrated Pursuits of God turning 2. To celebrate, this week Mary& Sally are giving a member of our community, a beautiful A4 print “He is Faithful” from Mary & Sally. Check out our Facebook page and read my interview with the delightful Mary and Sally here to be in the running 🙂