"How prone are we to be occupied with redemption rather than the Redeemer--with salvation rather than with the Savior! No doubt we should rejoice in our salvation; but should we rest here? Should we not, like Jonathan, seek to strip ourselves in order to magnify the Person of Him who went down into the dust of death for us? Assuredly we should. David did not ask Jonathan for his robe or his sword. Had he done so, it would have robbed the scene of all its charms. But no; it was purely a voluntary act. Jonathan forgot himself and thought only of David. This it should be with us and the true David. Love delights to strip itself for its object.
Oh! for more of this spirit of humility! May our hearts be drawn out and knit, more and more, to Christ, in this day of hollow profession, and empty, religious formality. May we be so filled with the Holy Spirit, that with purpose of heart we may cleave unto our Lord and savior Jesus Christ!
--C.H Mackintosh (His Victorious Indwelling)
This was taken out of one of my devotionals this morning. Later that morning I had read a post from a blog I follow where the mother was talking of our love in general. Our love for our husband, for our kids, for our home, for our church, for our nation and for our God. I love how she put it; If we have not love then we, as mothers, are as barking dogs and banging pots and pans. How much do we strive daily for that clean home....for obedient, fruitful children.....for educated children...to fill hungry bellies...to set the stage to where we mentally feel we can finally sit and enjoy it all. The problem is, we don't arrive there. Because somehow the house is dirty again, the children disobey again, they forget what you teach them so you must teach again, & they become hungry again. Where do we have it all done and finally soak it in? When do we catch up enough to where we finally decide to get serious about our quiet time with the Lord? When do we catch up enough to where we get serious about spiritual needs in our children? The bible says to pour out your heart like water for the souls of your kids...when do we finally get to that part? Do you see how the enemy works? We realize that we are fulfilling our calling by being home with our kids but we are certainly not free from the enemy's tactics. If we have not love our clean house (that is dirty again the next morning or by that night) means nothing. Our kids are the ones with eternal souls. This is the work that truly matters! We must, truly must, put this first. If it means sacrificing a clean kitchen to let them into your world of cooking; if it means sacrificing your 'me' time for yet another round of books; if it means praying before grabbing coffee that morning to make sure your attitude is in check; if it means pushing the 'self' down (again) & allow little hands to hang, to pull, to hold, then so be it. We see that Jesus' was constantly being surrounded and needed by multitudes.
I love the story of the woman who had the issue of blood. Remember this? She touched the hem of His garment. The disciples were probably almost laughing when He said 'someone touched me...' He was surrounded by people grabbing at Him. But He was sensitive enough to the souls of these people to know one was in desperate need of Him. He knew her heart, her pain and despair even though He had so many other things going on in that moment. In the middle of the hustle and bustle, He was full of grace & compassion and turned to her. Wow! In the multitude, in the noise, such a needed man, and yet, He was looking at her. For her, time probably stood still. He noticed me? He felt me? He's looking at me...I may ask what I will, if I can find words. Friends, this is also our calling! We must not forget to feel. Look past the wretched, sticky floors and into the souls God has entrusted you with. For this is your eternal work. They need grace! They need compassion! Yes, they need full bellies as well but not half as much as they need you to see them! Let them know you can make time stop and hear them...
When you are about give out---when you feel grace is wearing thin--quietly walk into another room and say "God...fill me again...may my cup overflow...."
When you fail; a harsh word, hands that were not gentle, a quiet demeanor, complaining--then apologize. Show them you are not beyond humility.
No matter what, mothers, our call is to love and grace. I love my house clean, I love when we accomplish school that day, or when supper is done early, etc etc, but I don't love it half as much as when I know I have left myself in the dust and been the hands and feet of Christ that day to children who desperately need to know Him. Eternal perspective leaves this house in more dust than my earthly perspective ever could.
Important: Mothers, we must fill up and eat bread from the word. It is vital. I know we do not have free time all day; But as Ann calls it, "hard stops", must happen. I picture a car flying and coming to a tragic halt with loud screeching breaks. It is hard to stop and drop. If it's five minutes and no words; stop. Partake of Him. Offer yourself at His throne all day---give up and fill up. It must happen in order to lead our kids to Him. It is life to us. I realize this sounds good but to put into practice is never easy----be encouraged and know I am learning this too! If I have to throw a dirty pile of clothes where they don't belong to just reach into the throne room for a minute then I will. If coffee must wait a minute, if dishes must wait, then put Him first and somehow everything falls into place, beautifully.
Be encouraged. Walk in grace. And remember it's all loud bangs & slippery floors without love!