I’m tired. Well, the whole house is, really. We have all caught this flu bug going around, and it really drains things. It has drained the house of laughter, compassion and patience. It has drained the house of discipline, schedules, and structure. We are in survival mode. And let me tell you, survival mode stinks.
I’m not just talking about the piling of laundry, dishes and Kleenex. Although, now that I mention it, that stinks too.
I’m talking about the piling of frustration, anxiety and irritation.
Can’t these kids just stop moving for one second? Does it matter who had the toy first? – They haven’t played with that toy in weeks and now they want it at the same time? Can they just ask for something to drink rather than whine for it? Is there some sort of rule that when one kid cries, everyone has to find their own reason to join in? Gabe is hungry, Ryan is mad, Robby hit his head and Becca found the bracelet Robby broke last week. Tears ensue, both from the kids, and welling inside of me as I grasp for patience and compassion in a clammy, tired body who just wants peace and rest.
I always want peace and rest.
Even when my body is well, my spirit yearns for peace and rest. And just like now, the emptying of me – all I have left to give, my strivings, my ambitions, my plans, my energy, my emotions – when I find myself empty, at the foot of the cross, it is then that I am filled. Filled with peace and rest.
He fills me up. He gives me just enough patience for another moment, just enough compassion to see the situation in a different light. He unfolds a new perspective – one that looks from the eyes of eternity, the eyes of a Father. When I pray, “Lord, I have nothing left to give. Nothing left to be taken from me. I am one second short of a welling, tear-ridden ball of mess – one two-year-old tantrum away from collapse.” I will remember that of anyone, He knows what it means to be emptied – and Oh, so much more! When they whipped him with metal-laden straps, ripping his flesh, he had nothing left to give. When the crown of thorns pierced his head and blood flowed, when they nailed him, nearly naked to wooden beams, He had nothing left to give. And yet, he did not cry out in his anguish – “Father, I am empty, and yet they demand more”. Instead, he looked at his feet where his mother stood and spoke words of comfort and security, arranging for her welfare in the midst of His death.
So when I feel empty, and another little hand is pulling me for more than I feel I have left to give, I will not pretend I am the one on the cross sacrificing myself for my children. Oh no, the focus is not on me or my sacrifice.
No, I will be Mary, humbly at the feet of Jesus begging for His provision, and knowing He provides.