Friday, July 1, 2016

Staying Longer

Philippians 2:8b, 12-13 (with omissions)
"...He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. ... So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure."

Fridays I get to bring my kiddos to meet with another mom or two with their kids in the park for a couple hours. It's a great time for me and the kiddos, because it affords a measure of rest. I get to fellowship with the moms, and the kids get to play. Some interaction is required, naturally, but it's easier than being alone with them at home.

As a mom who deals with chronic pain, works part-time, is in the middle of a house remodel, and cares for two kids four and under, I can see my time with the kids as something to be weathered. I can look toward a day with them and just wonder how I'm going to manage. I can grow anxious about it, or about the length of time things will be this way, and how long I can take it. Yet time and again, the Lord has proven to me His faithfulness.

It isn't about how much I can handle; Christ is the one weaving the world, and He weaves with an eye for the good of His children (some of the strings in the tapestry) and for His glory (the picture it paints). Part of what Christ died for, was to be the atoning sacrifice that we might be granted access to the perfect Holy Spirit. He is the source of our strength. It's about our relationship with Him, learning to recognize our Weakness and turn to Him in faith to see His work accomplished.

I am too weak to deal with all these circumstances, and I have a tendency to make matters worse with my thoughts. Yet Christ is working all things (including these circumstances) for my good, and I can rest in His grace and have faith in His plan. Rest and faith may not seem like strength, but God's strength takes care of the rest from there in order for me to obey His good an perfect will.

Today, not only did I have a reprieve in getting to be with the other moms and kids, but we stayed an extra two hours with them, prolonging the fellowship and break time. God is so good! Some moms might cringe at the consequences of staying longer... but for us, this meant a nap for the 1-year-old right after, and the 4-year-old playing by himself for awhile. Mommy can take her meds, write on the computer while they kick in (yes, that's this part!), then do a chore or two. Daddy might even be home by then!

I praise and thank God for staying longer today. His provision often amazes me even though it "shouldn't." Even on days when His plan includes more obstacles, He always provides the strength (again, often through rest in His grace and faith in His goodness and plan) to deal with them. Praise the Lord!