As I’m chopping vegetables to saute in my cast iron pot, one of my daughters runs up asking if I will dance with her. Flustered, thinking, “can’t she see I’m in the middle of making dinner?” She does not.
You are blessed when you make room for interruptions.(Eugene Peterson, The Message)
My daughter begins again to lose control of her emotions, something has spiked her being in the green to a red without a moment’s notice. This is our everyday. I know I’m not the only mama who deals with volatile emotions with their child. Yet, when you’re child has additional special needs; you know this meltdown is not the typical meltdown for a child their age.
You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.(Eugene Peterson, The Message)
I am studying the life of suffering. I am reading how Jesus calls it blessed to endure persecution for his name’s sake. I am astonished at how he somewhat casually says we will receive trials, suffering, hard stuff. As if he’s saying, “if you’re a betting person, go ahead and put your life savings on suffering.” I don’t know about you; but, I like comfortable, I like predictability, and I definitely despise having to suffer.
You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom. (Eugene Peterson, The Message)
Nearing summer’s end of 2014 is when my older brother died unexpectedly. Our family endured the clean up of an earthquake, while everyone else after initial condolences when on with their life. I don’t blame anyone for walking by as we were cleaning up the wreckage. It’s how life goes. But, when you lose someone dear to you, your life is never the same. And when someone says, God is going to use this for his glory you feel like punching them. Still Jesus agrees.
You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you. (Eugene Peterson, The Message)
When I gave birth to my oldest, I was head over heels in love. I was also an exhausted, hormonal mess. I remember crying out to God, repeating Psalm 23 with tears streaming down my face and asking, “I will fear no evil, because you are with me?! You’re with me, right God?” After He walked with me, he was still teaching me how to love my daughter. She wouldn’t hit developmental milestones at the suggested time. I remember being angry at God asking why he gave me a daughter who wasn’t “typical.”
I wanted a child I could line up with the charts and would match up just so. It would take a couple years before I realized I felt this way, because I blamed myself for having a child this way. I would become embarrassed of the meltdowns, more concerned what others thought of me, less concerned how to meet my girl’s needs at the moment.
There was a day when I began to see my daughter for who she truly was, the way God saw her. I realized how God was using my girl with special needs to see his face. John 9 speaks of seeing the glory of God through the life of the blind man. There was no sin committed by his parents. He was blind and now he sees. I too was blind, but now I see.You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought. (Eugene Peterson, The Message)
The Jesus life is found when we are at the end of our rope. When the widow told Elijah, I have nothing for you to eat. I only have enough oil and flour to make some cakes for my son and me, then we will die. Yet, Elijah challenges her to test God’s faithfulness.
You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat. (Eugene Peterson, The Message)
After a trying day as a mama, and it was only 9 am, I really, truly had nothing left in me to give. I had no reserves. I was the widow crying out to God, “I only have this oil & flour left. I will eat it and then die.” At the end of my rope, stuck in the abyss crying out, “when will you come? When will I see your face?”
I don’t pretend to know even a pinch of what it means to love God and others through suffering, or struggle. What I do know is when we allow ourselves to be broken vessels is when we encounter the living God. I know being a caretaker for my girls, especially my girl with special needs, has allowed me to see the goodness of my Jesus. By walking the road of suffering, the jagged rocks, grit in my teeth, I have seen the glory of resurrection.
Blessed are the caretakers, for they will see the face of God as we make more room for him, and less of us. This is the everyday working of hospitality.