So, think what you want about all those who preach “Sell all and give to the poor!” but when Easter week comes and kids are complaining about what they don’t have over toys already covering every inch of their floor and adults are frustrated by the money they don’t have as they stuff the refrigerator full of two week’s worth of food, it’s that very message that is ringing in my ears! Bursting in my heart. On repeat, LOUD, in my head! I look around and become claustrophobic in my own home…in my own life. My heart starts aching, my head start spinning, my spirits start spiraling down, and the tears, well, I hold them back because if I let them flow my husband could have more than he bargained for in this mess of a restless wife. Truth is, I really could almost cry for days over the way I am feeling right now. I have too much of this, too little of this, and how in the world do I live like this!
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to me will not hunger and he who believes in me will never thirst.”
And then I read in Exodus about the Israelites receiving the first manna. The bread that would sustain them for forty years in the wilderness. And I know deep down in the churning, restless core of me, that He is still all I need. He makes life truly simple, and He makes the truly simple absolutely wonderful. And when I just want to know how to instill this or convey that, He is here to hold me. That’s right, to hold me, and sometimes that’s it. I have to be honest, there are many times I get no specifics from Him. Most of the time I hear the same thing over and over again…”Love!” “Give thanks!” I start to wonder if God sees the dark places within this home – this family and if He knows I only have a few short years left with these children and what if they don’t get it before they leave this house!? What if I don’t? What will the story of my motherhood – Christian-hood – say if they don’t receive His love daily from me and then know His love personally and then share His love with others? If I ever had a mission of motherhood, that would be it! So, is life ever going to get consistent with the Bible study, the gratitude, the service, the love!? Or am I forever going to want to throw away all that we have and pick up this family and take them to a slum city where children are just hoping for a scrap of food and water that won’t kill them?! Will they ever get it? Will I? I don’t know.
The truth is, the Israelites had bread in the wilderness and in the land flowing with milk and honey and their gratitude or ingratitude looked hardly any different in each of those places. It was never about the place or what the bread tasted like or how much of it was available; it was all about how their hearts saw the bread. In John and Exodus the people were hungry, but their hunger was so much more than physical and they just didn’t understand that. They needed a physical provision, but they needed The Provider even more. And yes, He wanted to give to them, but even more, He wanted to get to them. He wanted to live in communion with them; so, He gave His body (“the Bread”) and His blood (“of Life”) so that He might live in them (communion). He didn’t want to just provide their portion; He wanted to be their Portion. He didn’t want to just give them substance to live on; He wanted to be their very Life. And He wanted – wants that for all mankind. For the physically sick and for the healthy and strong. For the materially wealthy and the poor person on the street. For the kid with a thousand Legos and the one with a bowl of rice and beans for every meal.
So, I take a deep breath, I write another day’s prayer early this morning before a child wakes, I hug these children that drive me crazy and that I crazy love, I kiss that husband who has never had my bend toward “voluntary poverty” (as the Spiritual Gifts test called it), I make lunches and suppers and hand out breakfasts, I stand with my second cup of coffee, I clean up another countertop mess, walk over the toy-kitchen accessories, I hold one girl…then two, I hug one boy…then two…then three, I start another day of homeschool (or something like that), and I just hope that in all of this there is more of Him. I just hope the kids are getting more than Math facts and Explode the Codes; I hope they’re getting the lessons on diligence and obedience and love that compels godly men and women to do unworldly things. I hope that Nathan and I aren’t settled into life suburbia; that this day-in-day-out, week-by-week life isn’t creating casual Christian living, as if there is such a thing. I hope that just like our house that sits right smack dab on the top of the hill on Piros Drive, that we are sitting high on a hill, shining a bright light in this dark world…even if it’s only on this street.
So, this was good.
And this is my heart-song-worship right now.
But it was this song this morning with the whole family, after listening to the audio of this, that gave me my next breath…I still haven’t had to exhale…