Too often it’s the insignificant things.
Like the dishes I had to leave unwashed as I unexpectedly rushed out the door…or the items on the to-do list, there because they need to be done, but truly tomorrow might do just as well as today.
It’s the project that sits unfinished, the playroom with evidence of an abandoned toy sorting marathon on display, and the increasingly evident need for a vacuuming.
‘No, I can’t. No, I’m too busy. Not today, not tomorrow, not later or in an hour. No I can’t give this; it’s mine and I need it. No, you’ll just have to ask someone else.’
While others are needing the hands and feet of Christ right now in this place where they find themselves ….and while God has told this perpetual Martha to abandon the mess in the kitchen and just sit down restfully at His feet or perhaps head out the door to serve another….still I glance incessantly over my shoulder at the kitchen, thinking of what I need to do.
How can my priorities be so awry?
I know it when I’m there… with a friend, on the phone, lingering at church, sharing the cup of tea, holding a crying daughter, baking cookies for another daughter to share with her class, surprising yet another girl in the lunchroom at school and sitting in a noisy cafeteria while she nibbles on her sandwich.
I know this is what matters. This is what is important.
People are always more important than productivity.
The dishes will be done. I’ll stand on the kitchen mat soon enough with my hands soaking into the suds, rinsing cereal bowls and cups. This, too, will be service and love for others, for my family.
Yet, right now what matters is being with God and loving others as He does, not fretting over the remnants of breakfast in my sink.
God challenges my perspective, shifting my viewpoint that is ever so stubbornly focused on my own needs.
He did this for Peter, too, as Jesus explained that He would die and be raised again.
Peter argued with the Savior: No way, Lord. That’ll never happen to you!
“Jesus turned to Peter and said, “Get away from me, Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s” (Matthew 16:23 NLT).
That’s my problem, isn’t it? My blindness to God’s perspective and the way that selfishness tunnels my vision until all I can see are my needs, my rights, my worries, my struggles, my life with my priorities.
I’m seeing things from a human point of view and never lifting my head high enough to see from God’s eyes.
This, then, is the deeply penetrating truth that challenges me: If I’m being obedient to God and loving others as He has told me to, then I needn’t worry about the peripheral, the secondary and the insignificant.
He will give me the time. He will help me. He will take care of what I need.
I can trust Him with it all, with every bit of my worry, my cares, my needs, my agenda. When I’m serving God in obedience, my stressed out, frazzled, distracted soul can rest in His presence.
That’s what it says in 1 John:
“Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence” (1 John 3:18-19).
Put love-based-on-truth into action and there I find that heart of rest simply because I’m where God is, doing what He’s called me to do, being obedient to His direction and timing.
In What Happens When Women Say Yes to God, Lysa TerKeurst writes:
I must confess I have moments where my heart is at rest in His presence, but they are broken up by pitfalls and pity parties. Sometimes I just simply want to be selfish. But when I choose selfishness, I may be happy for the moment, but I’m miserable in the long run (p. 98).
Yes, I have moments when serving comes easy and I feel the peace in obedience. But I have those other moments when selfishness tempts me to hide away and to hoard my time or resources.
Ironically, it’s only when I’m pouring out to others that God can fill me up with His presence.
It’s only when I cease striving for myself so that I can serve someone else that God meets all my needs, for provision, for rest, for peace, for wisdom, and for time.
Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader. Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness. Her upcoming book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, will be released in the Fall of 2013! To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.
Copyright © 2013 Heather King