by Gloria Furman
Today was a day of small things.
Except for that diaper incident. That was fairly epic.
And that struggle with a daughter who needed to complete a worksheet for kindergarten. My sinful response needlessly turned it into a much bigger deal.
Then in the midst of all this I had that dark, poisonous thought that I would be happier doing or being something else.
It’s an ancient thought that “runs in the family,” so-to-speak. This thought was hissed into the ears of our first parents. The crafty serpent planted a seed of skepticism in the woman’s mind: “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden?’” (Gen. 3:1). Despising God’s word and will, Adam and Eve considered the snake’s words and esteemed their own will instead.
We do the same thing today. We wonder if perhaps God was wrong and that our own designs for our lives are better. Sometimes that dark thought persists through long seasons but sometimes it springs up unexpectedly like a weed. I’ve heard friends confess both in hushed whispers and through bitter tears how they’ve also entertained the thought that they were made for something “better.”
Today, during the day of small things, I was reminded of how only the gospel can ground me steadfast and contented in Christ alone when I hear that dreadful hissing. Now, at the end of a tough day, I’m even more convinced that cliché encouragements are like cheap diapers. Only the gospel can persevere your faith through a potential spiritual blow out.
If the fruits of peace and joy in Christ only grow on trees that have their roots sunk deeply in the gladness of God in his sovereignty over all things, then I desperately need to cling to God’s word.
Parenting mishaps happen every day, but the circumstances don’t need to dictate how I respond to them. We’re all sinners in need of the Savior. I’m raising pint-sized self-sovereigns who attempt to govern themselves in such a way that brings them maximum self-prescribed happiness. They are that way because they’re related to me—a fellow sinner who needs God’s grace.
Instead of allowing the drip of impatience induce me to scorn my role as a mother or sin against my kids, I should rejoice that the Lord has laid my iniquity on Jesus (Isa. 53:6) and run as fast as I can to the overflowing well of compassion that our Chief Shepherd has for sheep who go astray. (And I should tell my children that that’s where I’m going and why.)
I’ve found one tremendous thought that is able to crush my nagging thoughts of malcontent:
Jesus is infinitely more precious than whatever it is that I feel like I’m missing out on.
Jesus is my soul’s anchor and hope. One of the most soul-stirring ideas is that Jesus endured the cross “for the joy set before him” (Heb. 12:2). Part of the joy he is looking forward to is this Celebration of all celebrations:
“Then I heard what seemed to be the voice of a great multitude, like the roar of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, crying out,
‘Hallelujah! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready; it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure’—for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.
And the angel said to me, ‘Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.’ And he said to me, ‘These are the true words of God’” (Rev. 19:6-9).
Isn’t that Astounding! It’s really real and those who trust in Christ have been invited to this marriage supper. This is as true as “the true words of God.” It doesn’t get much true-er than that!
Today marked an especially tense day of my struggle with contentment. Another day in the future could present similar difficult circumstances.
But the day of small things is no small thing when it reminds me that every single day of small things will eventually culminate in the worship of the Risen Christ for all eternity. Forever we’re going to be worshiping the Lamb who was slain for us and ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, making us a kingdom and priests unto God (Rev. 5:9-10).
Today I want to be obsessed with what I’m going to be obsessed with 30 trillion years from now.
So today, by God’s grace and through his strength, I can cheerfully serve where God has placed me, doing what he would have me do in the race he has set before me—one diaper change and kindergarten worksheet at a time.
ABOUT THE WRITER
Gloria (@gloriafurman) is mostly from Texas. In 2008 she moved to the Middle East with her husband Dave to plant Redeemer Church of Dubai. They have three fun kiddos and Gloria enjoys serving the ladies in her community as a doula. Gloria really misses pumpkin lattes (especially this time of year) and she is the author of Glimpses of Grace: Treasuring the Gospel in Your Home (Crossway 2013).