My husband is fond of saying, “We don’t do what we know we need to do to be happy.” I know I need to live gratefully. This week I didn’t. I know I need to keep up with the laundry. This week I didn’t. I know I need to read books, plan meals, spend time outdoors, and pray . . . instead of scouring the internet as if it were a magic 8 ball. This week I scoured.
One night this week, while tucking my eight-year-old in, I apologized to him for my irritability. “What’s wrong with me?” I sighed.
“You’re just tired,” he said, with love in his voice. (Precious boy!)
I am tired . . . of longing for perfection when I fall so short. As I was wallowing in my seeming inability to be productive this week, God found me on the internet. I was reading an article by a beautiful writer, Barbara R. Bodengraven. In it she writes, “Jesus loves us, not despite our weaknesses and limits and imperfections, but because of them.”
How could that be? I wondered. But I believe the words about my children as I sing to them each night: “Little ones to Him belong. They are weak, but He is strong. Yes, Jesus loves me!”
Could it be that God’s eyes towards me are akin to an adoring mother’s eyes towards her newborn? A mother doesn’t love her baby in spite of his cries or his inability to walk or to feed himself. No! She loves him wholly, and she loves him all the more because he is dependent on her for his every need, for his very survival!
I began to breathe the gift God showed me through Ms. Bodengraven’s writing. He loves me (inhale) because (exhale). He loves me because of my bug bites and blemishes. (I need His healing.) He loves my mind that sometimes paralyzes me from doing a good thing because I feel guilty for not doing it perfectly. (I need His grace.) He loves me because I’m fatigued. (I need His power.) He loves me because I feel unlovable. (I need His Gospel.)
Oh, thank you, dear Jesus, for your inexplicable love. Thank you for loving me through my off days and off weeks. I am weak. I need your strength to live well.
Yesterday, I didn’t scour the internet. I scoured the sink (while singing along to praise music). I read a stack of picture books to Little One. I made an early dinner and prayed over the boys as I tucked them into bed. Toys are still strewn around the living room, and freshly laundered clothes are still on the bed waiting to be put away, but I am happy.
II Corinthians 12:9 “But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”