Around the time our first child was born it felt like the physics of my well-ordered life had been tossed into a salad spinner. The centrifugal force of my circumstances made me feel out of control in my day-to-day work, and my heart quickly followed suit.
In the midst of finishing grad school, getting ready for a move overseas, and learning to take care of a newborn, I found ready answers and wisdom to managing my chaotic home life. But none of these remedies quelled the chaos in my heart. God’s amazing grace felt like an ethereal, irrelevant concept as I was scrubbing spit up out of my newborn’s onesies for the umpteenth time and manipulating the shopping cart into our grocery budget each week. Why wasn’t my “quiet time” translating into peace in Christ as the rest of my day devolved into “chaos time?”
Mountains of Mundane
I think many of us struggle to see how the gospel — the good news about Jesus’s sin-atoning death on the cross — is something that is meant to land in our living rooms. We believe with all our heart that God’s sweet-sounding, amazing grace saves wretches like us and turns the lost into the found. But we collapse into bed at the end of a long day and wonder: Now that I’m no longer blind, what exactly is it that “now I see?”
The mountains of the mundane seem to loom larger than eternal life and block our perspective, and we’re tempted to set our gaze on a season when these everyday things are behind us.
But by the grace of God we are what we are. In his sovereign love he has placed us here, with these fellow image bearers, in these circumstances, to the praise of his glory in heaven and on earth. What we need to see most is not a time when “this, too, shall pass.” What we need to see most is a crystal clear vision of God’s faithfulness that will never pass. This can only be seen with the eyes of our heart wide-open to God’s word.
Work in Progress
In God’s word we read that we’re not what we ought to be. We’re sinners who fall short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23). Time and again we fail to praise his wisdom, and we behave as ingrates grumbling about life that he is graciously sustaining.
We’re not what we might be, considering the abundant gifts he’s given us. And oh! How we’re not what we wish to be! We love God’s righteous law and we want to cherish Jesus above all else, yet the war in our flesh rages on, taking us captive to sin. Even in the midst of a picture-perfect home, our hearts can be in a wretched estate. Can a to-do list or a how-to book solve our most pervasive problem? Can we organize our way into peace with God?
Praise the Lord!
Through Christ’s reconciling work on the cross we’re no longer God’s enemies as we once were. As he gave his own body to pay for our sin, Jesus made his enemies his friends. Through faith in Jesus we can boldly lay claim to Christ our own, our crucified and resurrected Friend and King saying, “By the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:10).
Rest in the Spin Cycle
This gospel-grounded vision of God’s faithfulness rests in the finished work of Christ on the cross, trusts him for today, and hopes fully on the grace to be revealed to us in the future. The chaos in our heart is no match for God’s mercy toward us in Christ Jesus. Our hearts are anchored fast to God’s faithfulness even in the spin cycle of our circumstances.
Life in our earthly home is but a breath, but God has put songs of praise in our hearts that will echo from now through eternity. Even after we’ve been living in our Father’s house for ten thousand years! There’s no better day to sing his praises than every mundane day from here to ever after.
Gloria’s new book — Glimpses of Grace: Treasuring the Gospel in Your Home — is now out! And by purchasing a copy of the book this week, you qualify for some freebies from the publisher (Crossway). Here are the details:
Purchase a copy of Glimpses of Grace from your favorite local or online retailer from June 3–7 and receive a free Glimpses of Grace ebook as well as one of Gloria’s favorite resources — the ESV Study Bible Online (ESVBible.org Web App & Ebook)!
To redeem your free extras, simply scan and email your receipt to firstname.lastname@example.org before 11:59am on Friday, June 7. [Note: Any receipts that are not legible, not included, or believed to be fraudulent will be disqualified. Limited to one promotion per person.]