Mid afternoon isn't my usual time to take a seat and write out my sojourning thoughts here, but the kids are sitting down to do worksheets from the reading comprehension and math workbooks I bought them last week to prepare them for school on Monday. So now's a good a time as any.
Where to start...
There's No Place Like Home
I was showering in our make-shift shower- which is literally standing room only as it's only the circumference of a child's hoola hoop- feeling very much like the stance I was in in the place that is usually relaxing to me is exactly how I feel my life is in general right now: no place to relax. Not exactly something to complain about, nevertheless it is a real stress that wears on you. As I was standing there, the Holy Spirit knowing all my complaints and searching my anxious thoughts, that still, small voice lifted:
The Son of Man has no place to lay his head.
Mmmm. Instant comfort. Instant peace. Instant rest in a vertical, uncomfortable place.
Home is a dust filled, every-corner-cluttered, tension-filled, labor-intensive place. Work is a high-risk learning, government-regulated, magnifying-glass-to-your-every-move place. Church is a battle to get to. Relationships between the grown-ups are distant, tense... spiritually mismatched. Right now parenting feels like refereeing a boxing match and facing a judge dressed in 10 year old's clothes. My own mind is a battle ground. The fight for faith and the slaying of sin and lies is a constant war. I'm tired. I look for a place to rest. And I look up for that place. And I realize all this is keeping me from finding here any real home. I really, truly only find rest in the Holy Spirit's ministry to me and through me; as he teaches me of Jesus and conforms me to his image everyday, and as I open the Word, in which I find all my hope in the promises of God.
He will make all things new.
He blazed the trail of no place to lay his head.
He authored my faith. He'll finish it.
He is my comfort. He is my rest. He is my home.
I'm Just the Farmer. But I Am a Farmer.
"Oh yeah, well what if I don't want to be a Christian?!" the angry boy bit back at the answer given to the question he had regarding his correction.
"Well I believe dad!" he shouts as he stomps off feeling successful at taking sides in a family where there are sides, and there should only be one side.
This constant opposition is... constant. This struggle, this teaching, hearing arguments, correcting, disciplining, comforting, enduring rejection, choosing the unpopular best... it's daily; moment by moment, and I'm tired.
But it's good. It's a constant reminder to me that I can't make the seed come to life. I can only plant and water and pull weeds and protect from gophers. But I can't make it grow. I can't give life, I can only bear it and train it.
Right now there's a tight reign on the most defiant plant. It wants to grow wild. It wants to grow sideways and its full of thorns, but with God it has the potential for great beauty and fruit.
I can't just give up and look up and say, "It's all on you God. Only you can make it grow." But I can keep doing my part as the farmer and train this wild shoot and look up in faith and say, "Apart from You I can do nothing Lord. Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it. The Lord gives children. You will not let your word return void. But you will prosper it for your purposes."
Life this side of heaven is like Saul chasing David. We are called kings and priests... children of the King. But we don't get to reign yet. Instead we are constantly opposed from within and without.
One is not more important than the other. I need to have the Word and a life that backs it up and lives it out. I can't just teach Bible stories and quote scriptures. And I can't just be a nice person and a loving mom and wife. I have to have both. A farmer can be the nicest guy in the world but if he doesn't plant a seed he won't have a harvest. A man who plants seeds but doesn't tend the soil and labor to care tenderly for the plant, to provide it what it needs, what is best, to give it warms and water and good soil... that farmer won't have a harvest either.
This means a lot to me. It's a much needed reminder: I am where He has me. This is my work in His field.