It’s after midnight, which means our house is uncharacteristically quiet. No one is asking for juice, or help with math, or protesting that their sister put gum in their hairbrush. The loudest sounds right now are the air moving through the vents and the click of this keyboard.
So why am I up?
When you’re a busy parent (if you say parent, is the ‘busy’ part even necessary?), or you run a non profit, or you teach at a church on weekends, you find surprisingly little time inside your own head. Most of what goes on in there involves the needs of others. I’m not complaining – I chose this life. Maybe not all at once, but I certainly made ovations that got me in these roles.
Like you, most of my efforts go towards satisfying the needs of others. You know what? There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s healthy. We were not meant to simply consume, but to contribute and to cultivate and nurture, and so contribute, culture and nurture we do. It’s my privilege to raise my kids and lead my team and speak on weekends. I love it.
But once in a while, we sense Him near and He’s speaking and it just feels like it’s for us.
Tonight, long after I crawled into bed, I begin to sense God. Not a sermon, not a song, but the One sermons and songs are made for. It was almost palpable. He was near and He wanted me to know.
I got up to meet with Him. It’s been the best part of what had already been a good day. I was led to the Bible where I resumed my reading from earlier in the day – it’s the good thing about reading the Bible straight through, you don’t waste time wondering where to start. I read from the latter part of Matthew chapter 6 and it was like it echoed through me.
““Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”
I worry a little. Sometimes a lot. Not so much about tomorrow, but quite a bit about next month or year. A tribe our size burns through resources. Even what seems like a lot can go quickly. I seem to have faith for the next Costco run, but freak out a little bit when I realize that I’m facing a good fifteen or twenty more years of Costco runs.
Do not worry about your life.
I put my name in there. Do not worry about Randy’s life. Do not worry about Randy’s kids. Do not worry about a juice bill that could heat a trailer park or unscheduled dentists appointments or the average life expectancy of a 15 passenger van that has already circumnavigated the earth more than four times.
Do not worry. Look at the birds.
See the generous way the Father treats even the sparrow? I’ve heard it said that nature is among the most generous systems anywhere. There is room and provision for all, even if some are ultimately provision for others. The God that put that system in place and oversees it to this day understands that my kids will gnaw the bark off a tree if you tell them it’s edible….and that Costco is probably giving bark samples out on Sunday…but the bag for my family will run fifty bucks.
The icing on the cake for me (sorry, I’m in a food rut) was the last phrase.
Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
My Bible study tools tell me that the optional translation for that – because they are very similar – is asking who can add one cubit to their height.
Ok. That was personal.
I’m going to bed. I’m so glad I got up. He met me.
One more thing – are you making space to hear Him? Fight for it. Don’t let our default setting of ‘busy’ determine when and where He gets your full attention. And by all means, when you sense Him near, get up. Get alone. Get quiet.