Sunday, February 13, 2011

do not simply remain alive

In Exodus God provides for His people no matter the circumstances but they still struggle to trust Him, I am seeing that I am the same as they are...walking in fear when I have every reason to trust. God rescued the Israelites from slavery, brought plagues on the Egyptians and protected the Israelites from disease and death and yet they still do not trust God, they still do not believe He will provide and protect them. I don't think I am doubting God because I do believe He will forgive, or provide a job, safety for our family and faith for our children. But, when I am not praying for joy during a really hard day I am doubting He can provide that. When I am counting down the hours until my husband arrives home to be daddy I am doubting God can give me the patience I so desperately need. When I collapse in front of Netflix during nap time I am not trusting God for rest and restoration.

Exodus 14:12
"Is not this what we said to you in Egypt: 'Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians'? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness."

The commentary on this verse discusses that the Isrealites "...are viewing their circumstances without reference to the fact that the Lord himself brought them to this place. As revealed through Israel's history, the Lord is merciful in never leaving his people simply to themselves or their circumstances. As both Daniel and his 3 friends will later assert, whatever the Lord calls his people to face as a result of fearing him is in fact better than simply remaining alive."

How often do I think things will never change? Or give up on discipline because it doesn't seem to be working? How often do I look ahead to 1 year or 5 years from now thinking then I will enjoy the kids more or the days more or our house more?  How often do I fail to live because I am content simply remaining alive?

Sometimes remaining alive feels like a success. But, after a morning where I was screamed at by kids rotating their complaints and frustrations for 4 hours I'm learning that remaining alive isn't enough. Remaining alive isn't fighting for God's glory, it isn't accepting His joy, it isn't living out forgiveness. Remaining alive is stagnant. I can remain alive or keep my kids alive while watching "The Octonauts" on tv or checking Instagram. Instead God calls us to engage and that is hard. That requires effort, love, faith, strategy and sacrifice. Engaging God's truth, teaching them how to love well, be respectful and helping them experience joy requires me to trust God. It requires that I lean into Him with a thankful heart because He put me here. He made me a mother of these 3 specific children, in this neighborhood. He knew what would be hard in this season, this day and these roles and He created me and enabled me for it!

Walk boldly in the gifts God has given you, trust Him in the new areas that scare you and pray fiercely over your failings. This God is able to do vastly more than we think or imagine!!! I am thankful for that because I cannot imagine this day getting any better. He doesn't have to imagine because He already knows and so I will choose to lean in and listen, I will choose to engage with my kids when they yell at me. I will choose to teach discipline, teach them how to read and remind them at the end of the day that they are deeply loved. I am thankful that despite my desire to simply remain alive I am being formed by the Spirit into an image of Christ and I am deeply loved too!

Just Say “No”

             I have been there…that place where you say ‘yes’ to everything because you are trying to just survive. You are trying t...