the pastor of my church in ohio once made a comment in passing that has stuck deeply with me ever since. he said that the normal american thinks that life should be generally easy with periods of hardship every once in a while. however, the bible makes it clear that life on this sin-infested earth for the believer will be consistently difficult, but in the midst of that God promises periods of rest from time to time (and ultimately when he remakes the earth, there will be eternal rest for his followers).
i am on the precipice to the end of one of those periods of rest, with mixed emotions. for the past two weeks, the kids have been gone (part of the time in respite care, and then with their birth mom), but they come back today (possibly even before i finish this post!).
for the past few days i have been slightly dreading, slightly anticipating this moment. selfishly, i long for more days of a free schedule, getting ready for work with no one else to get ready, coming home from work to a clean house with no noise and no one to take care of, leisurely evenings spending time with alex, sleeping in on the weekends.
today that will change, and we will jump back in to the madness. but, "this light and momentary affliction is preparing for us a weight of glory beyond all comparison" (2 corinthians 4:17). we will jump back into the way that God has called us specifically to care for "orphans... in their affliction" (james 1:27).
as hard as it is at times to keep up with the kids, i LOVE that we get to point them to jesus in a way that they would otherwise not get. today i spent some time planning for this week leading up to easter, and how i can teach the kids how easter is about jesus and his resurrection and not bunnies and eggs. if they were living with their birth mom and not us, they would likely have zero input about the true celebration of easter (what is there to celebrate about bunnies and candy? but there is MUCH to celebrate about freedom from sin and loosening the chains of our bondage to death. praise Him!!)
this week in our community group we discussed in depth one of the more famous verses in the bible "and we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." (romans 8:28), and discussed how certainly the bad things but even the mundane things in life are being worked out by God for His glory and the believer's ultimate good. i find this comforting. sometimes it is easy for me to wonder why i spend hours a day changing diapers, doing laundry, cooking and running around after kiddos. i am a college educated woman, and i used to have an "important" ministry of daily sharing my faith and discipling younger believers. and now i spend my days doing this?? but i know that God is using this, and that he will use all time time i spend doing mundane things, when i could be doing really "spiritual" things for my good and his glory.
the next month or so (until the kids go back with their mom) will be hard. as much as i try to take it at a marathon pace, it will more likely be like a month long sprint. after that God will likely provide another season of rest, but then the craziness will begin again once we (Lord willing) have an infant in the house.
but i don't live so that life right now will be easy. i "look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. for the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal." (2 corinthians 4:18). i want to work as hard as i can on this earth, and endure the difficulties, that God may be glorified. i will enjoy the brief periods of rest he brings, as i look forward to the eternal rest that He promises.