That moment you look over and see your three-year-old and one-year-old enjoying a silly game together, smiling, laughing, with zero yelling or hitting, time does seem to stop for a moment. Can’t they just stay this little and this sweet and in this moment for a lifetime? There is certainly an incredibly endearing aspect of capturing moments and time standing still.
But today, I realized there is also a frightening, maybe unhealthy view of time standing still. I looked at my husband and said, “If we really plan that trip in 2018, I will be 34 and you will be 35. I really thought I’d just stay 3o forever and the kids would stay 7, 5, 3, and 1 until Jesus comes back.” I mean really. And for all you mommas and daddies out there who know what it is like to have a 7-year-old or two little ones 3- and 1-year-old in the same house at the same time, you know the heaviness and the fatigue you feel at the end of each day.
Aren’t these kids going to stay in this season forever? Aren’t we always going to be changing a diaper while Legos fall onto the floor and a cup of juice spills and drips and sticks to the table for the 70th time? The monotonous requests and quarreling and squealing and laundry and tiny socks and goldfish and sippy cup parts and Barbie shoes – this is really our lot for the rest of our earthly existence, right?
When I get stuck (and I have been STUCK HERE many times, even today) and trapped into thinking that this season will never end, life seems harder, impossible, joyless. And when we are sucked into thinking that time is standing still in a miserable, tough, “I can’t see the light at the end” way, it can feel as if we are drowning.
But what an incredible encouragement we see in Scripture, that all things are from Him and for Him.
15 Jesus is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. 18 And He is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything He might be preeminent. 19 For in Him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through Him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of His cross.” Colossians 1:15-19 (emphasis mine)
Trials, surprises, hardships, miracles… they are all things, and they are for our good. God made us, and He made us to need Him and to worship Him. IN the trials. IN the surprises. IN the hardships. IN the miracles.
Though we will not be here next year, doing all of these things, maybe that is your today. It’s my today. And my tomorrow. And it’s what God has given us as our today and our tomorrow. And His plan is SO GOOD. I love that the seasons of the weather change, and that is exactly the same as our family’s seasons ebbing and flowing and waxing and waning. There are so many sweet times and hard times in each season.The people in our lives, the messes that they make, the schedules we follow, the life we lead, it’s all from Him. It’s all for Him.
Time standing still. Oh, I am tempted to think this season will NEVER end. But what about next season? Isn’t it going to be full of roses and perfectly respectful children and a self-cleaning home? Right. That’s what I thought. PREACH IT TO MYSELF.
Always. Without ceasing. In Everything. God’s will. So, that means DO IT! Time is marching on, and I have a job to do. Enjoy it. Love it. Revel in it. Love God and love people. Don’t stand still, harboring on the hardness of the season. Thank God for it and keep running that marathon. God made it. God made you. He takes care of you and wants you to trust in Him in this season of impossible.
14 “Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:14-16