This week I've been working through faith and works. Really trying to figure out, what are these "works" that are the fruit of our faith? Starting to feel the beginnings of a heart broken for what grieves God. And feeling helpless.
We've prayed, Lord, do what you will with us. And we pray it again and again. Giving it up and saying it is all fair game. And we wait.
I've learned that God tends to move slowly, not hurried, like the world that I live in or my human tendencies. But he guides us through the process, waiting on him. Giving us time to grow in trust.
But in the waiting I'm overwhelmed by what I see. Orphans and human trafficking and abortion and injustice of all kinds. With broken heart I'm wanting to do something. Although I do do something. I give my money and my prayers, but I start feeling like what if that's not good enough.
And I'm convicted. Like the rich young ruler who wants to get into heaven by his works, I'm tempted with the same. I'm tempted by the mentality that my works change my standing with Jesus. I'm tempted by the mentality that how publicly I seek justice and do works changes my worth to Him. This is simply not true.
I remember Jesus' words... when the rich young ruler was overwhelmed at the task before him, and feeling defeated, walked away. Jesus says, “With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.” Jesus knew that what he would tell the rich young ruler would be the last straw of an overwhelming load to bear. A load far too heavy for a human back. He knew that we would need Jesus to bring true and final justice.
So I lean into Jesus. Choosing to believe that he sees just as much beauty in laying down my life for my kids on a daily basis as those in huts in Africa. He sees beauty in the discipleship of small hearts. In serving lunches and giving baths and wiping tears. In reading stories that show of God's goodness throughout the ages. Stories that tell that we are all in the same boat and far from what is required to live with God. But the story of a God who loved us too much to let it stay that way.
I learn in the story of the talents that God cares not about how many talents I am given, but the fact that I am faithful with what is before me.
I am here. Now. Tempted to look to the future and take a peek into God's plan. But that is only my sinful need to control and have knowledge that is not mine to have.
But I am here. A mom on her knees, seeking to please God with what is before me. Two sweet boys that exhaust me and show me how self-centered I truly am on a minutely basis. A wife to a husband who has the same dreams and the same open hands, offering up all that we have and are. Knowing that if we are called to go, and do something wildly different than we imagined, we will go. But also knowing that if this simple life in Grand Rapids, working, sharing life, raising babies, serving our neighbors, and taking every opportunity to glorify God in the mundane, we will also stay. And we will glorify God all the same.