It’s 3:00 a.m., give or take an hour. I didn’t look at the clock when I heard my baby’s cry in the night.
When I slip into the room, I hear him sniffling through his stuffy nose. He’s been up several times already tonight. After this, he’ll probably continue to wake every hour or so until morning.
His cry is weary and sad, like he’s asking me to fix what I’m unable to heal. Like he doesn’t understand why he feels so rotten. Like he’s apologizing for waking me up yet again.
I feel his breathing ease into that slow rhythm of rest. His body radiates warmth and I gently stroke my hand across his forehead and feel the slight fever.
He has this fine, blond dusting of hair on his head. I comb it down with my fingers, slow….gentle….the lightest touch.
With four sick kids, I’ve been up about 4 times already that night. I know my future, no crystal ball needed. I’ll likely be up every hour from now until sunshine and the rush of the day begins.
So, the practical side of me knows I need to ease that baby boy back into the crib and slip out of the room again.
Get as much sleep as you can, ’cause, girl, you’re going to need it.
The practical side of me is so smart.
But this baby boy snuggles into me and makes this busy, rushing, speedster of a momma pause, rest, breathe in and out and really listen to the rhythm of breath and the rhythm of life.
Usually, he’s on-the-go (like me). I try to cuddle him, and he pushes away to pester the cat or crawl after his older sisters or grab at the TV remote, cell phone, or Kindle or whatever catches his attention, which is pretty much anything and pretty much all the time.
I almost never get to hug him.
When he starts walking, what then?
When he’s off to school….off to driving…off to life? What then?
Better to sit right here in the black of 3:00 a.m. (give or take an hour) and hold my son just a few moments longer.
I think of what I’d been reading that day in Pathway to Purpose by Katie Brazelton. How she said,
“I now know that the most important stuff that happens in life is often challenging, rarely exhilarating, and frequently frightening.”
“It is not God’s plan for you to spend today chasing after your future one thing when your many things are right in front of you.”
Surely in this moment, this is the most important thing.
We sure can get caught up in searching from some grand revelation of God’s great plan for our lives. We want to know His will for us, His purposes for us, how He’s going to use us, not just today but long into the future.
Yet, here in the night, sleep-deprived, zombie-brained momma that I am, I feel that God sees me cuddling a sick child.
I think how too often we miss this truth:
God’s great purpose for us is to serve Him humbly, sacrificially and obediently in the here and now of life.
We don’t have to search beyond that.
I think of Lydia:
On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. 14 One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. 15 When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us. (Acts 16:13-15 NIV).
Lydia was the first European Christian convert recorded in Scripture, a woman who accepts Christ, shares it with her family, and offers Paul a place to stay while he shares the gospel.
“Yes,” to showing up to work.
“Yes” to listening to a missionary.
“Yes” to responding to the gospel.
“Yes” to sharing it with her family.
“Yes” to opening her home as a missions base and church.
Maybe this month, as I’m learning when to say ‘Yes,’ it’s less about joining programs, committees, and ministries, and more about starting with simple obedience and faithful service day after day.
Looking for purpose? Looking for God’s plan?
Look to today.
To read more about this 12-month journey of pursuing the presence of Christ, you can follow the links below! Won’t you join me this month as I ‘Learn When to Say, ‘Yes?’
- Finding Room to Breathe: A 12-month pursuit of the presence of Christ
- January: Be Still and Know
- February: Pray Simply
- March: Unplug
- April: Enjoy Beauty
- May: Create Beauty
- June: Invest in Friendship
- July: Retreat and Refresh
- August: Learn to Say, “No”
- September: Learn When to Say, “Yes”
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 book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, is available now! To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.
Copyright © 2014 Heather King