When He Dances It Teaches Me to Dance–Finding Treasure in the Word

My baby boy has learned The Mommy Dance.

There’s some bouncing and kicking, throwing his body forward and trying to propel himself into my arms.  He throws his hands up and half-hyperventilates/half squeaks to get my attention.

He’s all eyes on Momma, two beautiful big and sparkly blue eyes speaking so loud, no words needed.

I know his heart.  He’s been playing on his own for a while or maybe he’s been cradled and rocked by someone else in the church nursery, and he’s been fine.  They’ve met his needs, changed his 972280_10202473255287243_4831672876409347931_ndiapers, helped him sleep.

But now he sees me and me is what he wants.

Mommy!  That’s what his dance says.

Mommy, come hold me!  Come love on me!  Come feed me and care for me! 

He knows I will.  He knows in his baby soul a deep-down truth that Mommy will reach her arms right out for him and hold him close.

More than that, I’ll probably kiss him 100 times in a minute and smooth the fuzz of his hair down and I’ll coo at him and whisper how I love him so.

He is wanted.  He is loved.  He is welcome here in my life, in my arms, in my heart.

But me, how uncertain I feel at times.  How shy, how vulnerable—when I feel needy, broken, empty, weary, and worn.

It’s God that I need.  It’s being in His presence, and only in that precious presence, that will restore my soul.

Yet I pause.

What if God is weary of my weariness?

What if He wants me to preach to myself for a bit, talk myself right out of my own need before I drop it all down at His feet once again?

What if He wishes I’d just pull it all together already and stop holding out my empty vessel for more?

But Hebrews tells me right there:

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need (Hebrews 4:16 NIV).

Come to Him with confidence…because Jesus is the High Priest who knows what it’s like to suffer and what it’s like to skip meals and to serve others and to lose sleep and to have to fight for rest and quiet—yes, even more than this momma of four does.

My baby boy doesn’t lift his hands to me with insecurity or self-accusation; he seeks my presence with confidence.hebrews4

So, I can come knowing that God will welcome me because this throne of His is a throne of GRACE.

And at the Grace-throne, I’m confident that I am forgiven and that I am beloved.

Confident that He isn’t rolling His eyes at my needy heart or sighing with frustration at the mess I’ve made of things.

Confident that right then when I need Him the most, He’s offering the grace and mercy I’m so desperate for.

Confident that my emptiness isn’t disappointing to Him and isn’t too much for Him to fill.

No more hiding in the shadows of the throne room doorway or pressing up against the wall and hoping that God doesn’t notice how I’ve stumbled on in.

That’s what I cling to today when I’ve slipped into that place again and I’m so timid in His presence at first because I just want to hold that empty cup right up and it feels so bold, so brazen, so demanding to ask Him for more….

But I think of Jesus’ first miracle.  Such a trivial thing it seems, saving a wedding party from the social faux pas of the season by turning empty vats into vessels filled with the best wine at Cana.

In Whispers of Hope, though, Beth Moore says,

“Christ fills empty vessels.”

This is the miracle I need.  It’s no sideline magic show or performance, no preface to the great miracles still to come.

Filling empty vessels is what Christ did.  It’s what He does.

It’s what I still need Him to do.

And the beautiful promise in Hebrews is that when I raise my arms up, when I ask for His help, when I reach out and beg for His presence and hold out that empty cup, I don’t need to ask ashamed.

For at the throne of grace, I am:

Welcomed.

Loved.

Forgiven.

Filled.

And it’s here I will find the mercy and the grace in my time of need.

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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

 

When Holy is Dishes, Laundry, and Homework

Five puzzles, six books (or more), one game of Memory, word searches, and some tricycle training . . .

That’s what happens when we lose power or Internet at our house.  Life slows down.  When a daughter appears with board game in hand and a pleading look on her face, I have no excuse to give, no busyness to distract, nothing to prevent me from sitting  . . . and playing . . . and resting with my kids

I complain and whine with the best of them about the loss of conveniences and comfort, and I’d prefer running water with temperature control and the ability to cook meals and refrigerate food any day of the week.

But a day without email and the telephone . . . well, that’s a welcome vacation sometimes.

Christ Himself called His disciples away from the crowds and busyness of their lives to spend time with him alone, like unplugging from ministry life with its hectic pace and demands.

Mark tells us:

“Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest’” (Mark 6:31).

In Jesus: The One and Only, Beth Moore notes that:

“the original word for rest in this verse is anapauoPauo means “to cease, give rest.”  Guess what ana means?  “Again!”  We don’t need this kind of rest just once.  We need it again and again” (p. 116).

And again  . . . and again . . . and again.

Sometimes we need to go away–or unplug– to escape all that distracts us here so we can fix our attention on Him there.  We anticipate seeing God in the specifically designated portions of our lives we call “Spiritual” and the times we have set aside as “Holy.”

But then the real work begins.

Then we must return to the daily life in all its mundane activity and we must carry into that everyday behavior all that we learned in the holy moments we had set aside.

I’m trying to see Jesus while my hands are elbow-deep in dish water and the laundry piles stack up.

Can mopping the floor be spiritual?  Can folding clothes be a God-moment? Can doing dishes be part of my quiet time?

If we deny Him a place in the mundane day-to-day life, confining Him instead to a corner of our hearts designated “God stuff,”  then we miss Him and what He’s doing in us and through us.jeremiah2913

It’s what the prophet Jeremiah wrote: “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jeremiah 29:13).  Not spiritual heart pieces and holy corners, but all that is in our heart searches after God.

In Scripture, Naaman almost missed finding God.  He was a big-shot, who commanded the army of the king of Aram, a great man, a valiant soldier, but he had leprosy (2 Kings 5:1).

Hearing about Elisha the prophet, Naaman sought healing from the man of God, but Elisha didn’t even come out of his house to meet with him.  Instead, Elisha sent out a messenger with some simple instructions: “Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed” (2 Kings 5:10).

This was so . . . .basic.

So unimpressive.

So nonspiritual.

And Naaman was annoyed, angry even.

Naaman wanted a magic show with special effects rather than an order to take seven baths in the Jordan.  But, his servants challenged him: “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed!’” (2 Kings 5:13).

A few dips in the Jordan later, Naaman’s leprosy was totally healed.  All because he obeyed God in something simple and unimpressive.

If we have our eyes set only on the spectacular, we will miss God’s healing and cleansing work in the mundane and the everyday.

Will I manage to keep this perspective over time?  Probably not.  I will likely grow weary and burdened with the stresses of daily busyness.  I’ll need to retreat again, stepping away from it all to focus solely on God.

But then I’ll come back home where dishes and laundry and homework is what happens here and in that, yes even in that dailyness and routine, I can seek God’s presence, His input, His fellowship.

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

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