“For our God is a consuming fire” Hebrews 12:29. It quietly tugged at me from where I’d scribbled it in my moleskine journal as I re-directed her vegetable-peeling strokes in the direction away from my Bible, already stained cucumber green.
This moment was humorous to me.
I pray in secret before the sun comes up to have a primal life-devotion which moves the heart of God — for His fire to consume all of me and for my life to spread His glory … and I spend my daylight hours separating laundry, cleaning toilets, training hands to peel cucumbers and teaching mouths to say “will you forgive me” and “thank you.”
The quick snapshot reveals anything but glamour in God.
I need to moonlight with something else to really find Him, is the thought that drops into my mind. Make an impact, outwardly, or just to escape from the prison of mundanity into hours of solitude to really, deeply, connect with His heart.
Others around you are making a dent, moving His heart with their hours, while you sweep up another pile of grass from outside that made its way into your kitchen – that voice comes again.
I’m allured into counting minutes until my day job is over so I can find myself, again. And find Him.
This, because I don’t really know what it means to find myself or to find Him.
We read the end of the story in His Word — fulfillment, impact, every spiritual blessing, His kingdom come down – and assume all those lines between here and there to be poetic language, theory not reality. Or, we mamas (though many of you reading this are not mamas but still living your own form of seeming mundanity), shelve our secret passions for the glory of God to manifest in us — and assume we can’t have both: dinner on the table at 5:00 and a fiery heart that’s turning the heads of angels. Eighteen years from now, we think.
Consummation starts with a spark.
One ember, aflame. Even just a slow burn.
I have one hundred opportunities (at least) in a day to ignite that spark or to give it more fuel. And the hot lie is that life is about gaining some sort of configuration of devotion I’ve formulated — that life I used to have or that life I’ve always wanted — which overlooks the most important opportunities, those unseen to all eyes but His.
He hides us to form us.
He consumes me in the moments when no one is looking and in the tasks that no one will notice but Him. These days are His set-up, purposed for this very thing.
It’s a life lived upside-down — one to which we might pay lip-service, but when it’s moved from theory to reality, our flesh often revolts.
But it’s also this very life which introduces the sweet aroma of intimacy between the Father waiting to affirm our still, small yes and His daughter or son who has been craving that unseen affirmation for an entire lifetime.
Real identity in Him can only be found when no one is looking. It’s very nature is singular, His perspective on us and our received understanding of that perspective.
We were made to hear His whisper into our mundane, and our flesh and the enemy work furiously to tell us that “real life” is lived outside of those pregnant moments.
Do you dream about moving to another city, finding another job, or finally being granted that promotion that’s just around the corner? Are you itching for one year from now when she isn’t so immobile or he doesn’t need your help as much? Do you count down minutes until they go to bed? Are you waiting for that next baby, or that next adoption, to bring a new rush (oh, this is one I know so well!)?
If so, might I suggest that this drawn out seemingly boring moment is your divine meeting place. One the world scorns, but that you can count as gold.
This closet you’re in, for this season, is holy.
Taking your hidden moments, the ones even your mother might not be interested in , and holding them like paper over the flame.
I’ve written several posts on Why I Adore and some of the minutiae of this practice, this habit, that is taking my before-dawn prayers and then making them real over my kitchen sink. There’s no formula; it’s simply carrying His Word off the shelf or from your bedside table into and over the hundreds of thoughts which steal those minutes meant for Him (and meant for your heart to be alive).
Today, on this Monday when my Morning Chai devotions move from the right-side of my blog to center stage, I am going to keep it simple and suggest you do the same, as a starting point: One simple verse, about Him, put into your own words and whispered quietly — and often — in place of those moans which cry really, God? isn’t there more? when can I move up and out?
An ember against His spark.
Monday is the perfect starting place.**
“When Jesus heard it, He marveled, and said to those who followed, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!’” Matthew 8:10, excerpt from Matthew 8:5-10***
A man can make You marvel. A man, then, made You marvel. You saw his faith, the faith of the one that You made, and You marveled. You stood in awe of Your child. He was imperfect, but he still moved You.
Who are You, God, that Your people can move Your heart? I praise You for being a God who marvels.
Your love doesn’t stand distant, disconnected, but Your heart moves when I move. You move in.
“When Jesus heard it, He marveled.” I adore You, the Father who marvels when His children move towards Him. I love the way You show Your love. Make me one who makes You marvel. [My adoration phrases for this Monday, written in my moleskine journal, propped on my counter top, fresh on my tongue, ready to replace their opponents.]
You may have noticed I no longer have an option for comments on my posts. For a little explanation to this shift, read Why No Comments?
**I absolutely treasure your stories. I love the memorials coming my way. What’s being erected over your lives, I am celebrating: He is good. With a life of four-being-restored and two of us not too far ahead of them, I don’t have as much time as I’d like to respond to every email, message and comment. Though the demands under my roof may not allow much time to respond to these, please know I am honored by what you’ve sent me and the time you took to tell me your story. They are gifts to me.
***For a context to this little space on my blog, read: Why I Adore. For a more detailed description of how to start adoring Him in your day-to-day, read: Showing Up. To see all “Morning Chai” devotionals, use this link: http://www.EveryBitterThingisSweet.com/posts/chai/. And you can easily subscribe to these devotional meditations as they are delivered, by using this feed: http://www.EveryBitterThingisSweet.com/posts/chai/feed or by entering your email address in the second box on the right-hand side.