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Devotional for Tuesday, April 30th
I used to think I knew what tired was. I played soccer in high school. I pulled all nighters in college. I've driven through the night, for weeks on end. But then?I had kids.
Now, you fellow parents out there know what I'm talking about. When you have children, sleep deprivation is no longer an isolated occurrence, it's a way of life.
Babies need. That's what they do.
They need you to feed them.
They need you to watch them.
They need you to change them.
Diapers. Oh diapers. Poop. Poop. More poop.
I had no idea how much could come out of something so small, and I had no idea something so small could demand so much of my energy.
Now, don't get me wrong. My kids are hilarious. They make me laugh. They cause me to cry tears of joy. They give me more life than I even knew was possible. But, raising them is, without a doubt, the hardest thing I've ever done. Hands down, absolutely, the Best. The Hardest. The best hardest thing I've ever done and probably ever will do.
So, one morning I'm limping out of bed after another all night marathon of baby blood curdling screams for no apparent reason whatsoever, when my wife grabs me by the arm, and with blood shot eyes says, "I am so worn out." I tell her that I understand, and I'm pretty sure it won't last forever, but when I pull up to a friend's house an hour later, I announce upon arrival, "I need to write a song called "Worn" today, because that is exactly how I feel in the deepest depths of my inner soul.
Anyone relate? What do you do when you don't even have the strength to fight? Where do you turn when you feel like you don't even have the energy to turn? Well, I have one word to offer and one word alone:
Let that sink into every pore of your skin and every crack in your heart.
Breathe it in.
Marinate in it.
Our God is a redeemer. It's who He is. It's what He does. He redeems. Which means, among other things, "to make up for. to restore worth or value." Jesus makes up for our lack. He restores our value. By dying for us, He gives us a value and worth that we could have never had or achieved on our own.
He didn't die for us because we were worth dying for, He died for us to make us worth dying for. Does that make sense? His life was worth mine. Not the other way around.
Now, drudging through the piles of poop, the endless tears, and the sleepless nights, I am filled with hope, because I know one day, I will see redemption win. I will see the struggle end.
And so there's beauty to be had in every moment. God isn't going to move because of me, He's going to move in spite of me. He isn't bringing glory to Himself by saving a bunch of people who get it right and who never wear out. He brings glory to Himself by redeeming the people who never got it right and who always wore out. It's when we're in our moments of greatest weakness that He is in His moments of greatest revelation. After all, "His strength is made perfect in weakness."
I once heard it explained that the earth is like a garment, and where injustice prevails, that is where the garment has worn through. What Christ has done, then, and what our great privilege is now to do, is to rework the fabric where it has grown thin.
He reworks the fabric.
My friends, do not grow weary. And if you have grown weary, take rest in the thought, that all he wants from you is praise, not performance. If we come to Jesus with anything more than nothing, we come with too much. All we need is need, because He's the one who does the work, and He's reworking all things into good for those who love Him. He's after a grateful people, not a perfect people.
He's after a responsive people, not a self-helped one. Live loved. That's our call. That is our job. Even when we're worn out, worn thin, and feel like we've got nothing left to offer Him, all He demands is our nothing.
Like the old hymn says, "All the fitness He requires is to feel your need of Him?" Nothing is all we bring to Him because nothing is the place that He can fill.