Thunder and Grace.
Well, it took me until nearly midnight, but I finally got it.
As Bug snuggled me close, hearing the drumming of the thunder, I whispered truth to him. “God made the lightning. We don’t need to be scared, because He made it.” And then I saw this day of non-stop, all hands on deck parenting and relational serving as what it always was – a gift. A pure and perfect gift.
I humbly, fully admit that this attitude did not dawn this morning. You (mothers) know those kind of days where you feel rushed from beckoning to beckoning, it’s non-stop from diapers to meals (to another diaper?) to being called upon to give praise, advice, listen… And the Ugly says, “But when will it be my time? Who is looking out for me?” And all the while He is, and all the while my time has by grace been gloriously turned into something far more precious. Even when I try to stop and build my own kingdom, another story calls, another Kingdom is built. Because the Spirit is working.
Yes, the Spirit of God inhabits even this humble home. He uses even the words of this clumsy speaker to tell a broken teenager who she is and how deeply her Father loves her. He feeds us even when I tire of cooking, of dishes, and whine about these gifts freely given to me. He makes these little children of mine grow, causes those two adorable feet to take their early steps from his new sisters to his Mama, even when I have done nothing to deserve this blessed milestone. What joy that my sin does not stop the work of the Spirit. And what humility that the Spirit gently calls me out of my sin and opens my heart to see the gifts all around me.
I’ll admit, I wasn’t entirely excited when 3-year old Bug awoke at 11pm to nightmares, unable to go back to sleep because of his fear of the thunder. But something stopped the lies, lies that would say “Just make him go right back to sleep so you can have time – your first moment – all to yourself.” Truth whispered instead. Teach him now. Here in his fear, Who calms the storm?
So we read of Jesus calming the storm. I’m not certain that there was lightning and thunder during that storm on the disciples’ boat, but in our retelling there was. Jesus said, “Why are you afraid?” And with a word the wind and waves were stilled. And in that moment of the retelling there was no denying this great gift I’ve been given, to speak truth to this young life, and even to hear it told back to me. “Mommy, Jesus died on the cross and Jesus is alive and Jesus makes me feel all better.” Ah, grace. Such sweet grace.
(By the way, since reading Jesus’ words, we haven’t heard a single roll of thunder…)
He still hasn’t fallen asleep, and plays with my hair as I type. But in the new light of this grace, I’m no longer worried about when he will finally go to sleep… but rather how quickly this precious moment will go by.
Thank you, Holy Spirit, for your work. Even in me.