Saturday, February 18, 2017

February 18

Leviticus 6:1-7:27; Mark 3:7-10; Psalm 37:1-11; Proverbs 10:3-4

My baby has been sick the past few days. Nothing too serious, but enough to keep him (and me) up at night for several hours each night. Last night, I put him to bed at 7, as usual.  But I was back and forth about whether I should wake him at 10 p.m. for the dream feed I usually do before I go to bed. I wanted him to sleep because I knew he needed it (and I wanted to increase my chances of getting more sleep!), but I was also a little worried about his hydration because he’d refused two nursings that day. My husband voted for not waking him; I felt like I should try to get more fluids in him. So we agreed that I’d wake him, but that if he didn’t go back to sleep, as had been happening during this illness, that I’d take the first shift. I’m sure you can tell where this story is going. Not only did he not go back to sleep until 2 a.m., he also spit up that whole nursing because he was so congested that he choked while coughing. As I’m lying on the floor of the nursery trying to get him to sleep, all I can think about is how tired I am and how unfair life is (I’m a little dramatic when it comes to lack of sleep).

So this morning as I sat down to read today’s passages, I felt like I could really use a little pick me up, a little comfort. And what do I find? Lots of rules and regulations in the Old Testament (not to mention plenty of blood and gore) and the very distressing passage about “eternal sin” and “never having forgiveness” (Mk. 3:29). Well, that’s not what I’m looking for. Surely the Psalms will hold something lovely and encouraging? As usual, Scripture surprised me.

“Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Ps. 37:3-4). Not exactly the “all the hard work of mothering pays off later” sort of psalm I was looking for, but, in truth, something so much better. Yes, God cares about the sleepless nights I have, and he cares about the health of my children; but these verses remind me there is more to my life than the very narrow here and now I sometimes get caught up in. It is so easy to get bogged down in our everyday lives – whether that’s diapers and running noses or board presentations and budget meetings or roommate conflict and academic deadlines. And those things do matter. But there’s more to me than just the mundane of today. There are the desires of my heart – grand things, marvelous dreams, huge hopes. God is interested in those, too, and he’s working for my good to bring those things about in my life. As I trust and do good (and I’ll add wait), and delight myself in him, he gives me these grand desires.

Even on the days when your car won’t start, your babies won’t sleep, your co-worker dumps extra work on you, or your spouse doesn’t help with the dishes – don’t lose hope. There is more to this life than just those things. Dream big and trust in the Lord, because he wants to give you the desire of your heart.

- Esther McCurry

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