Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Can I PLEASE use the bathroom in peace?

"Remain in me as I also remain in you."
John 15:4 (NIV)

One of my most difficult (or should it be triumphant looking back?) moments was when our eldest was small. I was giving the talk at a wedding of a couple in our church, and Andrew was conducting the service. We had a hand over plan in place for that moment when we needed to swap who was at the front of church, but at the last second things had to change, our second was clearly unwell and wouldn’t go to the person on standby, which meant our eldest couldn’t have Daddy’s full attention. Now, of course, she wouldn’t sit with anyone else at all so she came with me to the lectern – not a new thing, we’d done this many times. However the setup was a little different from Sundays, she got anxious, crawled in under my skirt and made her home there for the rest of the talk, very much enjoying exploring her new tent with its zip and buttons! The groom was in stitches, I battled on!  

I don’t know about you but I find the separation anxieties hard, sometimes I just want 30 seconds to catch my breath, a trip to the toilet without an audience, a shower where I don’t find a fully dressed little helper climbing in half way, school drop off that doesn’t leave us in tears and exhausted, bedtimes where sleep came calmly, and maybe in my reckless wild moments I even dream of evenings out that don’t begin and end in tired anxious tears. I tire quickly, my own resources of patience and compassion run dry as we go over the same reassurances again and again, and again; my own anxieties mount as I feel more and more inadequate in my parenting.

 And I am reminded that we have a Father who asks us to come like a child. Who invites us to come on in and make our home under his wing feathers, to call out at his door through the night when we need things, to pray incessantly, to hold tightly to his hand, to keep up and stay close.
Stay joined to me, and I will stay joined to you. John 15:4 (CEV)
And suddenly I see these invitations in a whole new light. He is asking the opposite of what I find myself asking my little ones; ‘give me some space.’

Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. John 15:4 (MSG)

Our Father doesn’t want us to have him at arm’s length, not even for a minute; he does not want us to ‘gain independence’ from him; there is no need to grow out of needing him close. He understands us completely in all our own anxieties, struggles, fears, and worries yet he does not tire, he is overflowing with compassion and love and patience for us. I love the Matt Redman song that speaks of our need of God, and his never failing love for us: ‘Abide with me’.
Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. Isaiah 40:28 (NIV)
Father, I cry out ‘abide with me’ yet you remind me you are already so close, whispering to me ‘abide with me’ – draw me closer today, show me how to come like a child who finds their security and well-being solely in you. 

1 comment:

  1. This week's devotions are exceptionally poignant to my journey right now, especially as we embark upon the summer school break. Thank you for reminding me of God's pursuit of me And His desire for me to be ever so close to Him.