Sunday, May 10, 2015

The Thought of Eternity

1 Peter 1:13
“Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”

As I try to soothe my 7-week-old daughter, I find myself searching for a way to live out Your joy. It is so easy to succumb to anxiety and stress in the face of her fussy cry, especially when compounded by pressing chores like dinner, or my 3-year-old son's need for attention. Now I perform the mother's nighttime dance of sway-bounce-pat as I spin a slow circle in my three-foot space, humming a made-up lullaby with her swaddled against my chest. Thankfully, it soothes her, but only so long as I continue; no going to sleep for Mama. 

It reminds me of a similar situation with my first baby. I held my son late at night as he screamed, and I found solace in Colossians 3:24b: "It is the Lord Christ whom you serve." I knew that my job was to serve God, which, at that moment, meant serving my son. All I could really do for him was hold him. And that was enough. God expected no more and no less of me. That I was fulfilling my purpose in that moment brought me a peace that, in turn, brought me a certain joy - even through his screams (and Mamas, you know that's saying something!).

In tonight's situation, God has added another of His truths to the solace of that verse in Colossians: the thought of eternity. 1 Peter is saturated with this theme. I can remember a fascinated awe at Peter's ability to stay his mind on the thought of eternity as I studied the first chapter. How could I live with a constant eye toward eternity?

I have struggled with - and asked God for - the answer to that question. Each moment seems to have a different answer or application. I have felt overwhelmed at the magnitude of different moments, let alone trying to apply the principle to each. I had to smile tonight as an application occurred to me.

You see, I'm musically oriented, and as I hummed my made-up lullaby to my daughter, there were pieces of it that I thought would be good enough to save and create an actual song from. Yet, right at that moment, I couldn't record it, or my daughter's soothing would be disrupted. I certainly wouldn't be able to remember it, so the tune would be lost.

Ordinarily, this would be a cause of frustration for me, since it's one more thing to put on hold while I care for my children. One more thing lost. Yet, with my mind on serving Christ instead of myself, and with the thought of eternity in mind, instead of frustration, I felt peace. Perhaps I won't get to it today, but God isn't calling me to write a song in this moment; this moment is my daughter's.

I have eternity to honor Christ with my voice and my songs. I am not my intended audience, and as my daughter slept restlessly in my arms, neither was she. I sang for God. And God heard it that moment. So I smiled with the joy of the Lord, knowing that capturing a song didn't matter, because it served its intended purpose as a sweet sound in God's ear. It was not, in fact, lost.

What skills do you have with which to serve Him? Are you letting the skill take precedence, or are you keeping it under the grace of eternity? God's grace allows me not only the joy of serving Him, but an eternity in which to do it. He hears me, sees me, knows me now, in this very moment - and I have an eternity to hone my skills for Him. What a blessing is the hope of what He has for us when He returns!

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