I’ll never forget the day. It was a bright Sunday morning, but I was downstairs below our church’s sanctuary, in a dark mood as a result of pacing the halls and trying to bounce to sleep my squalling little three-month-old boy. My little boy who was refusing to sleep, that is. The same baby boy who had already cried out in the middle of church and had refused to be comforted, forcing me out into the halls for what seemed like the 100th time that month.
What I wouldn’t give for an uninterrupted Sunday morning sermon, complete with open journaling Bible and pen in hand!
As I paced back and forth, back and forth, my anger rose along with my son’s continued cries.
What is this all for? What good is it that I come to church Sunday after Sunday if all I am going to do is spend the bulk of my time alone with a tired and grumpy baby?
These thoughts and more kept flowing in and out of my mind as I thought back to my pre-baby days. Those days when I took for granted the freedom I had to enjoy the whole worship service in peace and reflection. Now I was lucky if I heard the first 10 minutes of the sermon.
This feels so mundane. What am I actually accomplishing right now? Why won’t he just go to sleep so I can go back and listen to the rest of the sermon?
Again and again came the defeating thoughts. Until, suddenly, a thought popped into my head that, for the first time that morning, was not from me. Instead, it was so clearly from that still small voice of God:
This sacrifice this morning is your reasonable act of worship to Me.
That stopped me in my tracks. Literally. Within seconds a smile began to come back to my face, and I looked up at the church ceiling, with the eyes of my heart past it and right up to Heaven.
Ok, Lord. I hear you. Thank you for that sweet reminder. I needed that so desperately this morning.
That thought that popped into my head that morning came from a verse I’d been familiar with for years. But it wasn’t until that morning that it became the truly sweet verse that it is to me now. Romans 12:1 says,
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.”
Could there be a better verse for motherhood? Talk about applicable! From the day those little pink lines appear on our pregnancy test, we are literally sacrificing our bodies in countless ways for the well-being of our little ones. This sacrifice continues long after our babies become toddlers who become children who become teens. From sleepless nights to breastfeeding to working day and night on behalf of our families and our homes, we know what it is to present our bodies as sacrifices. But I wonder, do we really grasp Who we are ultimately doing this for? Do we really understand just how important our work is or how beautiful and acceptable it is to God?
I don’t think we typically do.
Just as the Lord encouraged me that Sunday morning, so I want to encourage you today, sweet sister. I know where you are. I know how you feel. I know what you’re doing day in and day out. And I want you to know something: it is worship. It is service to God. It is the furthest thing from the mundane monotony it may feel like in this moment, because what you are doing is life-giving, Kingdom-advancing, eternity-changing, soul-enriching work. And it is holy and acceptable in the eyes of God.
So, the next time you miss church as a result of a squalling baby or a tantrum-throwing toddler or a sick child? Look up. Take your eyes off your circumstances for a moment and instead fix your eyes on the Lord. Remember the truths and implications of the Gospel. Doing so will help you to see your current circumstances more clearly, through the eyes of God and eternity rather than the here and now.
You are doing a good work, mama. You are advancing the Kingdom. The Lord sees you. And He is pleased.
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