I have one of those scripture-a-day calendars on my kitchen windowsill. My mom gave me one two years ago for Christmas, and I liked it so much I have made a point of buying one myself to be sure I have it for each new year. This is my third such calendar. I love to have the inspiration and source of meditation in front of me when I work at the kitchen sink.
Today's scripture was from 2 Corinthians 1:3-4...
"What a wonderful God we have - He is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the source of every mercy, and the one who so wonderfully comforts us and strengthens us in our hardships and trials." (from The Living Bible translation)
I am in a busy season of my life. Our eldest is in fourth grade, and we homeschool him, so five days a week that is my main focus. Our middle daughter is very academically inclined, so even though she would still be in preschool if she went to "away" school, she is doing seat work for older children. She is also a pretty emotionally demanding child. And of course Little Guy has HIS seat work... learning to get out of his seat and crawl! This new found desire for mobility means I am usually either holding him or spotting him when he is awake. There are many things I can only do when he naps. But there are more things to do during those fleeting naps than are minutes in which to do them.
I am finding myself falling farther and farther behind with the normal things, like dishes and laundry. I am finding myself with less patience, finding myself falling asleep with the baby and having trouble getting up in the morning. I am finding it hard to carve out my 10 minutes to write.
I am just plain tired, really, no matter how much sleep I get.
Today's verse really made me think. I would not say I am in a period of hardship, but I do need strengthening. My eye fell on the word "trial".
Who is trying me, and for what am I being tried?
I believe I know the answer to that question. When everyone is pleasant and the sun is shining, it is easy to be a patient mother. But what do I teach our children if I am grouchy and frustrated when things aren't so easy?
Now before I say this, let me be clear that I do not believe I can earn my way into God's love. But it is kind of helpful to think of these trials, as "try-outs", like auditions for a play. The play is my life, and I am playing to an audience of One.
Wouldn't it make sense for me to go to The Director at the end of the day and say, "How did that one go, what do you think? Was I little too dramatic in that bit about the broken glass? Maybe I need to work on a gentler tone in the scenes with unfinished chores. Oh, you liked the part when I gave out hugs and kisses?"
When all is said and done, the course of my whole life WILL have been played to an audience of One. I want to make Him proud. But each part of my life has extra audience members. In this act, I have a husband and three beautiful children, as well as many beloved friends and extended family members. I would very much like to make them proud as well.
"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood." (Hebrews 12:1-4 NIV)