After writing the post “A Message to the New Momma by Adoption,” on No Hands But Our’s and getting such encouraging feedback, I have been left deep in thought, aching for all the many struggling families and hurting mamas out in the world. We need each other desperately, friends. We are all broken, we are all hurting, every. one. And yet, we are all so busy, so rushed, so distracted. And the question many of us ask of God is, “What is it I really want and what do you ask of me?”
Oh, in these little moments of life I find God waiting. God waiting, it’s like heresy. Surely the God of the universe waits for no middle-aged, messy bunned, yoga pant wearing, mom of six. Yet, He waits for me. He waits quietly, softly, and tenderly, like the hymn I knew as a girl, He waits. He calls, “Come Home.” I hope you are conflicted by the very thought of God waiting on me, on you, on anyone. We should be. It should confuse us that God longs to show us mercy and compassion, that He waits for acknowledgment from His own creation. It should completely baffle us or we do not get it at all.
Somewhere in my heart I thought, when I was done, when I arrived at what I imagined was the perfect life, when I pleased God by choice and achievement, His waiting and calling would rest. I achieved my dream, though small for most; a young mom, happily married, attending church, doing the “right” things according to culture and tradition. But Jesus continued to call, “Come Home.” He never quit calling though I wished He would at times. I wanted to arrive, to enjoy comfort, fulfillment, and above all to stay put and keep safe. In the hustle we may remain focused, perhaps in the storms preoccupied, or in the blessings content. Maybe there is even a fleeting moment, a whisper of a hint that we arrived at the destination, but in a wisp the fullness disappears and leaves longing, nostalgia, discontent. Maybe I thought God wanted my sacrifice only to find He desired mercy instead. You see, no one ever discovers contentment and fulfillment in anything or anyone but Jesus and God Himself and He knows the name of your heart. He calls our hearts’ name and whispers, “Come Home.” (John 10:3-4) When God interrupts you with these longings, His call, take off your sandals. (Exodus 3:1-14) Acknowledge Him.
My mind wanders everywhere I go, and never more than now in the midst of this beautiful chaotic mess. He’s everywhere. Can you see Him? Do you allow your mind to slow, and think, and ask, and wonder amidst creation, in the presence of children? As you fill your lungs early in the morning, when it is still new and fresh to stand and open your eyes, do you long for more than your morning coffee: refreshment, new mercies, grace, and hope? Do you long for beauty, value, and love? Walking with Jesus is holy, it is not only academic, it is not limited to theology alone, it is awash with experience and relationship, it is fulfillment of every facet of our humanity; mind, heart, soul, strength, and relationships as one. (Luke 10:27)
We are either busy accomplishing or humbly serving.
This life is either distraction or inspiration; ordinary or supernatural.
We either make room or we crowd God out.
When God calls our heart’s name, it is soft and it is tender, but it is not what we imagine we want to hear and think, He will not ask of us things which we want to do, though He give us the desires of our hearts as we take each step by faith. As C.S. Lewis says, “He isn’t safe. But He is good.” Following God is the most costly, fulfilling, terrifying, and beautiful adventure. The grace, love, mercy, and sovereignty of God is revealed in seemingly insignificant moments, moments when I see that His ways are clearly not my own, they are so much better. I can claim no credit, for even knowing what I know, I can not believe that I would choose His ways, in fact I know I would not. So I rest in His grace and mercy, that His glory and His story is forever established and does not rest in the hands of any person for its fulfilling. The work of God was fulfilled by the one who was consumed for me on the cross so that I would not be consumed by Him, but remain continually sustained by His grace and mercy.
So part of my heart is scared and another part is longing for more of Him, because He is not always gentle, and living in hope and expectation, in the tension of accepting pain while knowing I was not made for this world is impossible without mercy. So praise Him who calls our hearts by name, who is powerful, holy, and terrifying, and who is also filled with grace, love, and beauty on display through His son, Jesus Christ.
Please, take a moment to listen to the old hymn, “Softy and Tenderly”, at the bottom of this post and watch the video. Life is short, filled with wonder and also pain, our lives are only a brief mist and yet we are eternal. Will you listen to the voice of the one who knows your heart, the one who created you for a purpose? Will you acknowledge Him in each moment? Will you search for Him in the seemingly ordinary and insignificant? Will you not only know the truth, but experience the riches of His love for you through the sacrifice of His one and only son, Jesus Christ?