There is no shortage of sympathizing authenticity available to help moms absorb the impact of life in the trenches. Strangers, friends, blogs, and books freely offer their candid encouragements. I remember one occasion years ago when I was buying a package of preschooler underpants. The store clerk smiled and said, “When you start their toilet training you’re going to feel like there’s urine everywhere. But don’t worry, you’re not alone.” The woman behind me in line echoed her. “Ain’t that the truth!” There’s no doubt about the fact that we receive a special kind of encouragement knowing we’re not alone.
Believers in Christ are surrounded by “so great a cloud of witnesses” who walk by faith, their lives a testimony to the ultimate grace and the greatest peace. The grace and peace these men and women know keeps them going through heart-wrenching trials and even physically-threatening ordeals. God has given them eyes of faith to see our joy-pursuing, cross-enduring, shame-despising Christ who is exalted over all things and is seated at his right hand.
Having been given all authority in heaven and on earth, Jesus Christ gives us our marching orders and assures us with absolute certainty that he is always with us — even to the end of the age (Matthew 28:20).
We’re not alone.
For the Small Stuff
My everyday life is not replete with dangers to body and soul around every corner. I’m more likely to encounter a sibling squabble or some kind of monument to my own homemaking procrastination when I round a corner in our home. It’s tempting to consider Christ’s presence as only available for “the big stuff.” Even though I understand my work in the home as facilitating disciple-making to the praise of God’s glory among the nations, my disparaging heart attitude about the repetitive work of ordinary life reveals these fear-filled questions: Does this matter to the Lord? Is he with me?
I often echo Paul’s prayer for the Ephesians and ask it for myself and for others who need encouragement. What kind of assuring joy we would know as the Lord enlightens the eyes of our hearts to know the hope to which he has called us, and the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints (Ephesians 1:18)! What kind of thrilling peace we can rest in knowing that Christ’s rock-steady presence in our lives is never, ever diminished by our foggy, shifting doubts!
Jesus is not absent from our domestic lives as we serve his disciple-making purposes. If he’s with you to the end of the age …
… then he’s with you to the end of packing the last box before a move.
… then he’s with you to the end of a dating relationship that is (finally!) culminating in a Christ-exalting marriage.
… then he’s with you to the end of the adoption paperwork when the judge declares, “Congratulations!”
… then he’s with you to the end of a difficult school year.
… then he’s with you to the end of cleaning a mess that is so profuse you’re not sure whether to laugh or cry.
… then he’s with you to the end of an awkward silence you’re not sure how to resolve.
… then he’s with you to the end of a long night awake with a colicky infant.
… then he’s with you to the end of the month when the budget isn’t working.
Drawing comfort from Christ’s abiding presence makes all the difference in the way we live our lives in the home. Through the gospel of God, which is his very power for salvation, we have been given Christ as our supreme treasure. God’s amazing grace to us in Christ Jesus is the hope to which he has called us, and Christ himself is our glorious inheritance. Because of Jesus our lives are cups that are filled to overflowing with blessings, as John Newton so famously penned,
The Lord has promised good to me,
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures. (Amazing Grace)
“As long as life endures” is but a short while, and then eternal life endures forever and ever. Christ will be our shield and portion to the end of the age ... and to the end of this week’s ironing.