Today Is The Day To Fight The Battle
I don’t often think of a quiet time as bondage, but it can be. Here’s what I mean. I put my hope way too much in a long quiet/alone time in the morning, and getting the kids down for a nap at the same time so I can have alone time again for a couple hours. What made me start thinking about this was this interesting experience: I had put Jovi down for a nap, then, while nursing Joshua to put him down too, I heard her in her crib playing. She was making sing-song noises and I could hear her dancing with her Mr. Fox who has a rattle in his tummy. What normally brings me smiles and joy to hear her doing that brought me anxiety and irritation. She needs to go to sleep! I kept thinking, and felt anxious about her possibly waking Joshua up with her “noise." Then, I went to put Joshua down.
Standing up from nursing him, I held him tight in my arms and felt a deep affection for him. He looked so sweet and peaceful sleeping in my arms. I didn’t want to put him down. But my desire for my own time overcame my desire to hold my baby boy, so after a couple minutes I laid him down. He began crying, and like a switch, my feelings of affection flipped to anger. Are you serious?! I thought. You just need to go to sleep! I left him crying, and went outside for a short walk, thinking he’d just go to sleep. But I felt a deep conviction in my chest. How could I leave my baby feeling so much anger, when just ten seconds ago I felt so much affection? Do I even really like my baby if I could do that? How could I even feel so much anger towards a little baby? The more I thought, I realized I put my hope in their sleep. I put my hope in a routine of getting them to nap simultaneously and so getting my own time to get things done, read, study Scripture, or eat my lunch that is way over due. I was putting my hope in circumstances that I cannot completely control. After weeks of doing this, I realized that quiet, alone time, and sleep became a bondage, my slave driver. I was working for those things, instead of working to love my children, and ultimately working towards Jesus Christ.
When plans fall through, I find myself angry, anxious, stressed, and even depressed at times. I needed a new hope. If the Gospel is supposed to change me, then it needed to change this, no matter how “small” this matter seemed. Because, in the end, it doesn’t feel small at all; it affects my well being which affects my children and husband. It reflects a sinful and fickle heart. I need to abound in true hope, an unwavering anchor for my soul, mind, emotions, and body.
My hope is that in eternity with Jesus, I will have comfort and unwavering joy and peace and calm, not here. (But that will not even be our focus will it, in the Presence of our Savior?!) Here is a battleground. A spiritual warfare between Yahweh and Satan. I must remember that. No one joins the army, goes to war, fights some, then sits in the midst of flying bullets and a desperate dying people, grumpy and upset that she cannot have any peace. No, she continues fighting. It is obvious she is at war. Sometimes she gets a little rest at camp and downtime, but she is always aware that fighting will restart at any moment, so she is on guard and doe not complain when a battle begins. She didn’t join the army to find rest in the battles. But she has a long term goal in mind - to win the war, and she knows that that is when she can rest, sit in peace and joy and be united with friends and family.
Wow, if I am honest, I feel so ignorant and selfish. I have been the soldier sitting in the middle of war with a bad attitude, upset that I cannot have my peace and quiet. I mean, don’t I deserve it after a few hours of “battle”? No! That’s not for right now! If I get some, good, what a blessing and a gift! But it is not my right to have right now. I signed up for a war when I decided to follow Jesus. And Jesus is out to win me over in every single area of my life. The Gospel of Christ affects every single part of me and every circumstance that I am in, every minute. So I must persevere in the battle against Satan wanting to have any hold on me, even in the “little” areas of naptime, quiet, and routines. My whole self is required of me from Christ. Not parts. And I am the one who stepped into this battleground in the first place, beckoned by and hand-in-hand with Christ.
Moms, let us refresh our minds as to why we are mothers, as to why we are alive in the first place. Let us take up our cross and fight the good fight of faith, placing our hope in Christ alone. Today is the day to fight the battle.
“Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; [Not in my circumstances! Not in getting the kids down so I can have me-time!] for I shall again praise Him, my salvation and my God.” (Psalm 42v11)
“For You, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O Yahweh, from my youth.” (Psalm 71v5)
“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing [in Christ, not in believing for more peaceful circumstances now], so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in the hope [of Christ, eternity with Him, not in my “best life now”].” (Romans 15v13)
“…since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and the love that you have for all saints [would my hope in Jesus move me to love (definition of love in 1 Corinthians 13) my children and husband, especially in the midst of interrupted schedules and ever-changing circumstances!], because of the hope laid up for you in heaven.” (Colossians 1v4-5)
“Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God our Father, Who loved us and gave us eternal comfort [not a comfortable life now] and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.” [Would my hope in Jesus allow me to be comforted when things don’t go the way I want or even the way they “should”, and establish me in hope so I can love well in every work and word I say.] (2 Thessalonians 2v16-17)