While I have no trouble staying busy with mom duties, working with all my heart precipitates a lot of extras. It’s taking the additional minute in a crazy morning to write a note on my daughter’s napkin for her lunchbox. It’s getting down to my son’s level, looking him in the eye and asking him for the 9th time to please put pants on, instead of yelling across the room. It’s a giant hug, even if I think my child has no reason to be so upset. It’s reading parenting books and putting into action all those “best practices”. It’s cutting pancakes into the shape of a heart, just because it’s my daughter’s favorite shape.
It’s also never hearing a thank-you for that cute napkin, repeating your request for pants 10, 11 and 12 times, continued crying after your warm embrace, no noticeable results from all those supposed “best practices”, and a fit over that adorable heart pancake because, unbeknownst to you, she wanted to eat it like the Grinch.
You win some, you lose some, right?
As I felt discouraged serving my family and continued to consider the passage about Mary and Martha where Martha was discouraged preparing food for Jesus, and Mary was sitting as his feet (Luke 10:38-41), I couldn’t help but wonder, did Martha forget who she was serving?
Jesus didn’t need Martha’s food. He is Jehovah-jireh, the God who provides, the One who was able to feed thousands of people from a single lunch. He is the One who is the bread of life himself (John 6:35).
Do I forget who I am serving?
Because He is also El Roi, the God who sees, even when I feel like everything I do goes unnoticed. He is the Great Counselor, and he doesn’t need my expertise and wisdom to raise well-behaved children.
When Paul instructs us in Colossians, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart“, he goes on to say, “as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving” (Colossians 3:23-24).
Do we know who the Lord Christ is? Do we have an accurate view of him?
Most people know that the Lord is Love, but if he is only love, then we can be lazy and foolish because he will love us anyways. Or, if we think of the Lord only as a disciplinary father, then we better work hard and do a good job, otherwise we will be punished. If the Lord is only Holy, then we can never approach him and be heard. And if Jesus was merely a good example for us to follow, then we best copy everything he did so we can also be pleasing to God.
“But what about you?” (Jesus) asked. “Who do you say I am?” (Matthew 16:15).
One of the most significant Bible studies I have ever done was a study on the names of God. Learning his name was learning his character. And understanding who he is has affected every part of my life.
It seems that, if we don’t know who God is, then we decide things about him. We use our experience and understanding to draw conclusions, and when reality doesn’t align with our ideas, there is conflict. “Lord, don’t you care…?” Martha asked Jesus (Luke 10:40). But of course he cared. He cares for everything about us, because he is a loving father who even cares to know the very number of hairs on our head (Luke 12:7). He cares for every detail.
Our view of God matters.
While some days might seem like I’m losing right and left with my kids, my attitude and endurance shift significantly when I pause to remember who it is that I am really serving. It shifts when I consider his name, his attributes, Him. He’s the author and the main character, the star of the show. And he’s invited me in to play a part.
The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. – Proverbs 18:10
Read: Colossians 3:22 – 4:1
Romans 6:23, Romans 5:6-8
Stepping In: What do you think of when you think about God? How has your view of God affected different parts of your life? What can you learn from these verses? Spend some time in prayer talking to God about it.
Journeying further: What are the attributes of God that you are most familiar with? Which are the ones that you tend to give less attention to? How do these passages affect your view of God? How do they affect your view of serving him?
Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. – Psalm 20:7
Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me. – Psalm 31:3
Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together. – Psalm 34:3
Additional Resources: Bible study devotional – Lord, I Want to Know You
Kid’s Devotional – I Am: 40 Reasons to Trust God