Sunday, March 18, 2018

The Very Next Thing

"To dwell in the place I have been given.  To do the things I have been given.  To love the people I have been given.  This is not mysterious or far reaching, yet this is the truth of a God-ordained life.

Slowly, I was beginning to understand that it wasn't my productivity that God desired; it was my heart.  It wasn't my ministry God loved; it was me.  God was glorified, is glorified, when we give Him our hearts, give Him ourselves, and faithfully do the thing right in front of us, no matter how small or trivial."

These words were written by Katie Davis Majors, a missionary in Uganda.  Her story is much different than mine, as is the place God has called her to.  But what we share is our struggle in motherhood.  The struggle of wanting to be used by God, yet feeling like we are caught up in the ordinary and mundane routine of life.  Whether we are making meals, changing diapers, breaking up arguments, cleaning up messes, or carpooling all around town, being a mother takes a lot of effort and is often unappreciated by our children.  But did you know that in all that activity we have the opportunity to grow in faithfulness?

Katie describes faithfulness as what we repeatedly do, whether or not we see the results.  "Faithfulness is when we pour into hard people over and over, when we continue to serve in difficult situations, when we intentionally choose to lean into Him in our troubles as well as our joys.  Faithfulness is a habit formed in our hearts when no one is looking, when the day is done and the stars creep out and our call isn't easy but we don't turn away."

I sometimes get overwhelmed by all the things I feel that I should do.  I want to eat healthier, exercise, memorize Scripture, do regular devotions, invest time in other people, spend quality time with my kids, strengthen my marriage, keep a clean house, serve others, and the list goes on....  And quite honestly, when I get overwhelmed, it seems nothing gets done.  These are all good things, but what is it that God really expects of me?

What I keep coming back to is that God just wants me to do the very next thing, the thing right in front of me.  He wants me to be in relationship with Him and then simply to walk in obedience.  Being a task-oriented planner, this is sometimes challenging.  I get so focused on what's to come, that I have a difficult time just being present.  My goal now is simply to be faithful to what is right in front of me...or to whatever He puts on my heart.  When I think a compliment, I try to speak it.  When I feel a burden for someone, I stop to pray or reach out.  When my kids want my attention, I try to stop what I'm doing and give it. These things may seem small, but I believe God is glorified through them much more than me going through my schedule on auto-pilot.

What is the very next thing that God is asking YOU to do?  Be present.  Be faithful.

We're in this together.