The shower water was already running when I realized I forgot to grab my clothes. Opening the dresser, I reached towards the pile where my night shirts are stacked, looking for a particular shirt. The room was dark, and at first glance I didn’t see it.
I squinted my eyes and fingered though the stack again, but still couldn’t find it. Next I pulled the stack of shirts out, thinking somehow it got shoved in the corner. Still didn’t see it. Frustrated now because I’m wasting hot water, I walked to the light switch and flicked on the lights. Lo and behold, there was my shirt hiding in plain sight.
Good grief I thought to myself. Why didn’t I do that in the first place?
Well, because I thought I knew where it was and didn’t think I needed the light!
Trying to laugh, I hollered to my husband in the other room “Hey, just a piece of advice: when you’re looking for something, it helps to turn on the light!”
It’s a silly example, but sometimes, the other thing I can’t find is my joy. It gets covered up in all the tasks at hand and heavy burdens I think I need to carry. I think, I got this, I know what I’m doing, can do it with my eyes closed. Who needs to walk 5 extra paces and turn on the light?!
But you know what those days look like.
Short fuses, furrowed brows, spilled orange juice on the floor, messy kitchen, arguing children, tough algebra questions…by the end of the day I’m sapped and grumpy and wondering where I put my joy.
The Lord whispers, Turn on the light Julie.
Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. The man who walks in the dark does not know where he is going. Put your trust in the light while you have it so that you may become sons of light.“ John 8:12, 12:35-36
Turning on the light means I have to stop and get God’s perspective.
Last week is a good example. It was our last week of full programming. We finished up co-op, Mackenzie had her last gymnastics competition, Caleb wrapped up his knife show and Zach completed his school work for the year. It was a big week and kept me hopping.
By the end of the week I was running on fumes, and there was still a busy day yet to come. Up early one morning it dawned on me what my problem is, or at least one of them: I think too much!
I think about how I want to witness to this person, minister to that person, write for this organization, and about that topic. I waffle back in forth about school book choices and which activities to participate in, whether I should leave my hair short or let it grow out again, nachos for dinner or chicken salad…my mind just keeps going.
One afternoon, in the bathroom of all places, I prayed about all these worries on my heart. I said, Lord what can I do to bring all this about?
As I washed my hands the Lord impressed upon me that changing hearts and changing the world are His job. I need to stop trying so hard and let God be God. I don’t have to force it and make things harder than they have to be.
So much peace flooded my heart and the burdens I was carrying instantly lifted.
Delight was the word I chose to focus on this year. I want to delight in where God has me, because I have often drifted my eyes wanting to live and be somewhere else. I was busy trying hard to delight in my days when after a few weeks, God showed me His perspective on that word.
I realized yes it’s good to delight where I am. But I can’t forget, God delights in me. Right now. Not when the house is clean. Not when I’m finished with my project. Not when I finally get it. Now.
Wow that overwhelms me. It shines light on my situation and gives me a whole new perspective. In fact, now, I don’t even know if I want the same shirt I was once looking for!