When you’re a mum, you need to be all things to all men.
Some days I’m good at it some days I’ve got work to do. But God gives me a way and a why. The way is to understand my freedom. I am not slave to anyone, I belong to no-one. I am free but I choose to serve Christ and in doing that I choose to serve my husband and kids.
Why? (and it all comes back to the why). When; you’re facing noisy tears on one side, an hysterical game of giggle-ninja around the dining room table on the other, someone is calling from the bathroom for their bottom to be wiped, someone else is describing (earnestly and importantly) the difference between the battle style of different Pokemon and expecting you to listen, your husband, with one hand on your buttock, is detailing what to look for in the 300 receptionist applications you’re supposed to get through today, and you’re feeding the baby breakfast whilst you pack lunch boxes YOU NEED A WHY!
Why? – To win as many as possible and that I may share in the blessings of the gospel.
I want to win all my children, in all their myriad differences, to Christ. At the same time I want to live the blessed life of a child of God.
1 Corinthians 9:19-23 says,
Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.
I used to find it so hard to make the switch, person to person, emotion to emotion. I took on too much of their emotion. Combined with my own, (that I also held tightly until it was expressed) it was too much.
When I was a single Christian I would take some time off, go for a long walk to pray, spend a day alone at the beach reading my bible or I’d go away on a holiday to get over things, like a retreat to clear the cobwebs out of my spirit so to speak. That was the luxury of being single so long.
But these days there is no where to go. I don’t get days off. I get moments.
That’s because for 12 years now I’ve lived on the narrow precipice, between calmly coping and complete catastrophe, called ‘life with small children.’
One extra thing added to the load is all it takes to send us all plummeting over the edge.
One minute I’ll be praising God, marvelling at my amazing family and the very next I’ll be head in hands saying, “How long God? How long?”
Sickness does it every time. Something extra in the schedule. A change in routine. Anything that makes the kids tired. It can be the most fun thing in the world, like Christmas, one moment we’re soaring, the very next we’ve gone into a tail-spin.
Thankfully ours is a God who only needs a moment, to work a miracle, in us. We just have to hold him tightly and hold everything else lightly. (I talked more about my revelation on this in an earlier post.)
The other day I realised that my responses to God – praise one minute and, ‘How long, Oh God,’ the next were like those of a small child. I was on my way to the car, wrangling a 3 year old, recovering from the abuse of a 5 year old and the mood of a 12 year old and praising God for the generosity of a 9 year old and marvelling at the tenacity of a 10 year old when I thought, I’m just like them, I may not throw the same level of tantrum but the gist is the same.
Especially the ‘How Long!’ part. Sometimes I am so impatient with God. I want answers now. NOW! And yet I see, when I bother to look, that God has used the time He has made me wait, to grow my character, my faith, my knowledge of Him, my understanding of Him, my love of Him. Why then, do I still act like a small child?
Well, a small child needs their parent. In a healthy parent-child relationship, everything; happy, sad, good, bad will be reported to the parents. The parents will help the child through what ever it is, they will laugh with the child, cry with the child, praise the child, scold the child.
And I am a child of God.
2 Peter 2:1-3 says,
Rid yourselves, therefore, of all malice, deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander. Like newborn infants, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, since you have tasted that the Lord is good.
This is not a relationship I will ever grow out of. The relationship will mature with time, experience, modelling and effort, but it will always be God the Father, me the child. He will always be the one who listens to my day, but with maturity I will also listen to his.
When there is work to do on my maturity in one area, I will sometimes need to return to ‘Spiritual Milk’ as my food. My Spiritual Milk is the gospel. The simple fact that Jesus Christ is God himself, born as a man, lived as a perfect human, without sin and was crucified on a Roman Cross over 2000 years ago as a sacrifice for every sin or hurt that would take place in the past, present and future. Jesus was victorious over sin first, by nailing it to that cross in his body and taking it to the grave. Then he was victorious over death itself, by the power of the Holy Spirit by which he rose again, in a new transformed body, appeared to witnesses then ascended to heaven to be with the Father, as our advocate.
That same Holy Spirit that rose Jesus Christ from the dead lives in me today. When I go back to the simple message of the gospel, when I remember the birth, death, resurrection and victory of my Lord Jesus Christ, when I go back to the day I first met Jesus and first understood, then, and only then, can I begin to eat solid food.
The foundation of all our maturity and whatever we build must be, Christ resurrected. That is our spiritual milk and we are never too old to return to it. In fact there will be times when it is necessary.
1: Corinthians 3:1-3 says,
Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual, but as worldly—as infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for solid food. In fact, you are still not ready, for you are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and dissension among you, are you not worldly? Are you not walking in the way of man?…
Once when I was praying, God said, “Just come and sit on my lap.”
We all need our Dad. I don’t know what your Dad was like. But God the Father is the kind of Dad who will take you into his strong arms, sit you on his lap, listen to your day, takes away your cares because he cares about you. He will laugh with you, cry with you, praise you and scold you if need be. He disciplines those he loves and he protects us, like a hen with her chicks beneath her wings. He holds us close.
I want to encourage you today to never be ashamed that you are a child of God or that sometimes you behave childishly. Instead I want to encourage you in those moments to climb up and sit on the lap of the Father, let him love you, laugh and cry with you, praise you, scold you teach you. Approach Him with thanks for the sacrifice of the Son and accepting the power of the Holy Spirit, living in you, to make you strong and courageous enough to live a full life inheriting the promises of God.
Bless you today, join the conversation in the comments, like or share this post on social media. If you like this post, you may like this one too, God is not Afraid or this one Be Still (Haha) and Know That I Am God.
Lots of love,