Stories abound about God's physical intervention in our lives. God healed this man or woman or protected that girl or boy. I even have my own story to share about how God physically intervened for Elise. But I've started to notice lately that God intervenes in smaller ways as well. Out of a desire to have a more authentic relationship with God, I've been trying to see God in the details of the "everyday." I wish I could say that I've come right out and asked Him to reveal how He wants me to serve Him each day, but I'm afraid I'm too afraid to actually do that. What if He asks me to do something I don't want to do? What if I have to get out of my comfort zone? But how will I ever have a real, daily, true relationship with Him if I don't? Hmm... I'm so glad that God meets our needs without us ever asking or, frankly, even knowing what they are.
This morning during worship at church, Jack asked to be held. Now over the last four years my upper body strength has greatly (and necessarily) improved due to all the babies I've been hauling around, but holding a 40 pound 4-year-old still has its challenges. Given recent circumstances, I obliged and was blessed beyond measure. Just as he settled in, head down, snuggled against my neck, our worship leader told us to think about one thing God has done for us and then to praise Him for it. It was as if God put Jack in my arms and my mind at that very moment to remind me what an indescribable blessing he is. As I worshiped God, our oldest child in my arms, I was overwhelmed with gratitude for all the things I've learned since becoming a mother. The challenges and frustrations of parenting have helped me understand and relate to God as my Heavenly Father. Then the guilt over how I've sometimes responded to those challenges washed over me and I was again overwhelmed by God's perfect design in Jack. Our oldest son handles our bumps in the road with grace, patience and forgiveness. God equipped Jack with the personality to be our firstborn and I'm so thankful. As I continued to worship, Jack picked up his head, put his hands on my cheeks, looked me square in the eye and kissed me smack on the lips. Again, I'm so thankful.
I'm probably not the first mother who has ever failed at reflecting God's patience, gentleness and love to her children. But understanding that teaching our children to love God is my most important job has helped me control my "human" reactions more often. And while my own efforts to be consistently patient, gentle and loving fail, God reminded me today that with His help I can actually reflect His character this way. In one of the songs this morning we sang "King of all days." I've always interpreted this as "King of ALL days;" from beginning to end. Today I heard, "King of all DAYS" and I was reminded that God is the God of details, the God of each individual day. Each day I get to spend with our children is a gift, an opportunity I've been afforded, a responsibility I've been given to teach them about God. I had better make the most of each day because, really, it belongs to the Lord. He entrusted it to me to use for His purpose and He will show me what that is and how to do it if I ask.
To be clear, I don't think that God controls our thoughts. I wouldn't exactly call that free will. But I do believe He can speak to us, in a way, through what we're thinking. He can intervene in the private conversations we have with ourselves (we all have those right?...right?) to help us better understand His truths, His purpose, His nature. I'm so grateful for the way God has been intervening lately, small as it may be. Or maybe it hasn't been any more than normal, maybe I'm just noticing. Either way, I'm grateful.