Sleepy-eyed at my kitchen table. Bible in front of me, still closed, wondering where to turn.
And for what? The need is hard to pin down.
I imagine Jesus sitting with me as I stare into the morning sky. Slightly numb and resistant, I don’t want to turn to there.
James? You need to put me in my place this morning, I guess.
I decide to read the intro first because, again, I don’t want to read James right now. When I finally set my eyes down on the Word it speaks so loudly (as I knew it would!) that I can only relent.
Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you can become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.(James 1:2-4, the message)
You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors.
An accusation? A charge of inadequate faith? Sigh… This is why I should flip over to the Psalms. David understands my struggle. James, I don’t know about him.
I’m a bit sullen at my table. A bit angry is the truth of it.
Let it do its work
I glimpse the whole of it and think maybe this is what He wants me to see…it’s not an accusation. It’s a way forward.
The tests, challenges and pressures that come to us reveal us. Instead of feeling accused by the truth, perhaps He’d like us to embrace the process…let the hardness sift us, break us, uproot weeds that choke out life.
Clearly James is telling us that challenges have the potential to grow us into mature and well-developed people, not deficient in any way. For so long I thought tests, challenges and hard times were a symptom of spiritual lack.
Rather they are at times the prescribed regimen for healing our spiritual lack.
Bible pushed aside, I call my girls down. Time to start the morning madness.
I love them. Each unique and full of life, love and possibility.
So it breaks me down…the way I thought I would be in light of who I am.
Motherhood presses me. Takes everything I have and then some. Why can’t I do this without gasping for air? I want to fill their little cups with joy and love and yet so often mine is empty.
I read posts written by honest, Jesus-loving mothers on this very topic and want to hug them. ( So I am not alone?)
I dare say we are not.
We grow life within. We nurture and hold it carefully. We take account for every nuance, every sign, every indication we are mothering well.
Mothers live on outcomes and the pressure can be debilitating.
I lost my rhythm when I had our third daughter. This girl with bright blue eyes and filled with mischief. This girl who now says “thank you mama!” and “I like it mama!” when she eats her dinner. This girl who colors on walls and appliances and loves “Icky Souse” (aka Mickey Mouse).
How I long to recover and yet the old me is lost. I liked who I was becoming, and now it seems I must become someone else.
Let it do its work, He says.
Motherhood is revealing me. Cultivating me. Gifting me.
He must have known. And must know who I’m becoming.