Sometimes life is just draining. Nothing is particularly hard, or bad, or gut-wrenching. Just tiring. That’s the way the last few weeks have been for me. Sick kids, broken air conditioners, and decisions weighing on my heart have left me weary in a way I can’t quite understand, let alone describe. The problem for me, and possibly this happens to you too, is that once I get this weary, I start to question other things too and before I know what hit me, I’m wallowing. Wallowing in my tiredness, but mostly wallowing in self-pity.
The Lord is so good, though, and he pointed this out to me the other day. Confession, forgiveness, and a new attitude have done wonders for my spirit and the overall mood of my home (if mama ain’t happy and all that!). Throughout this time, a short article I wrote for our Mom’s ministry at church kept coming back to my mind. It so perfectly sums up where I’ve been, time and again, and the truth I need to speak to my soul every single day that I thought it might be worth sharing here too. I wrote it a few years ago, so the details of my life have changed but the heart remains the same even today. Here it is, hope you find it to be an encouragement as well… H
aving a sick child is one thing, but having two sick children and a sick husband is a whole other thing entirely. Add to that mix a three-month-old underweight baby and you have a very tired and overwhelmed mama. Welcome to my life for the past week and half. To say I’ve been running on empty is a gross understatement!
We’re surviving, but sometimes it feels like just barely. There has been more than one night recently where I have fallen into bed with little more to show for my day than three children sleeping (for the moment) and the knowledge that I made a path though the toys on the floor so I won’t step on anything when I have to get up in the dark of night. It is days like these when it feels like I have had very little, if any, impact. My life seems painfully ordinary.
But in the midst of this, I am reminded that I serve the God of the ordinary.
In the epicenter of this hard week, I was reminded of a sermon series by Alistair Begg on the book of Ruth called “The God of the Ordinary.” When I first heard it, I was intrigued by the title. Isn’t God the God of the extraordinary? Doesn’t he do amazing things, you know, miracles and such?
The answer is that God is extraordinary; he’s God! But he works and moves in the ordinary events of ordinary people’s lives. The book of Ruth does tell an extraordinary story, but at the same time, it is also the ordinary story of an ordinary young woman who lives an ordinary life. She doesn’t do anything shockingly profound. She simply does what needs to be done. She gets up in the morning, sees a need, and does what she has to do to meet it. She didn’t know that she was playing a role in a great cosmic plan. She didn’t know that when she left the house that morning that God was using her mightily. In fact, she never learned the importance of her actions; she never realized how important her ordinary life really was.
God is a god of the ordinary and during times like these, I need to remember that. I can’t see into the future, I don’t know what impact I’m really having. But I know the God I serve; I know he is extraordinarily good at using ordinary people.
So, even during hard times, I will try to do what needs to be done. I will do the laundry and the dishes, will make dinner and bathe my children. I will stay patient in the midst of temper tantrums and show grace in the midst of whining. I will hold crying children, comfort scared ones, and rock tired ones… all at 3 o’clock in the morning if need be.
And I will do it with the knowledge that my ordinary life rests in the hands of an extraordinary God.