Little things

Sometimes we look at our lives and all we see is labor. Labor at our marriage, labor in our children's lives, labor in our spiritual lives. And we easily get disillusioned at the "look" of  it. How easy it is to then get into dead works and self effort. In these moments of disillusionment we begin to compare ourselves and rate the fruit of our labor to the fruit of our friends labor.
                                         Why do we do this?
After having a chat with someone who's in a place where all they see is the work they are putting in and the pain and hurt and miss understanding they are getting out of it. Listening to them I could see how for a very long time in my own life, all I could see was my labor and missed completely what was happening right in front of my eyes.
I could not appreciate the little things that make great memories, I could only roll around the mud of self effort and dead works.
When this person had gone home I sat for a while and just thought upon everything I had heard and asked the Lord, in more of a thought than a question really, "How did I move from that place of utter despair to this place of constant rest, constant peace, absolute assurance in Jesus and opened eyes and enlarged vision?" (Please by this I do not at all mean I have now arrived and am perfect, no sirry, I am constantly learning and my eyes are opened daily, I still make mistakes and I still have to repent, I just have a deeper sense of my place in all this)
It was by the renewal of my mind by receiving the constant preaching of the Word of God - by the washing of the water of the Word - And then to go and apply that Word as best I knew how, being a doer of the Word. Included in this was meditating on it till my frequency changed and lined up with the frequency of the Spirit of God. Through this my blind eyes came to see, my deaf ears could hear, the fountain from which my tongue spoke became clean, my thinking changed by the renewing of my mind so I can also, together with the saints of God begin to prove what is the good, acceptable and perfect will of God for my life.
Now, I see, it is by grace through faith we live this life.
Apostle Andre told us his mom had this little card she wrote and put up in every house they lived in on the toilette door so while you're sitting still you can meditate on it, and it said - Soon this life shall pass, only what's done for Christ shall last -
So, I now realize that as long as my labor is in Christ, it is not in vain, it is not dead works and it is not self effort.
What is labor in Christ then?
For me, I believe it is doing only what the Father tells me to do. That's what Jesus did.
So when God, through His ministers, or through the Holy Spirit to me directly says - Leave that thing, I'll sort it out, you just do what I give you to do - That is labor in Christ. That is labor that yields reward.
So, if I make sure my life is on track with God in the areas He shows, and I train my children in the love, fear and admonition of the Lord, I submit to my husband as 1 Peter 2:18 to 3:6 I will see good fruit from my labor. I wont be constantly exhausted, frustrated, angry, embittered, anxious.........
A couple of years ago as I was crying to the Lord about something in my family life, the Holy Spirit said to me clearly - You Celeste, will not speak to your husband, you will be quiet, and through a meek and gentle spirit you will see change -
And so, not understanding the full impact of that scripture, I obeyed with the help and by the grace of the Holy Spirit. (Now I just want to say this, I NEVER confronted things in my husband ever! I just could not, but I was working up an appetite to do it, and on this, the Lord responded in the way I just shared with you.I did have very 'loud' displays of anger, so not with words but with actions I was 'shouting' at my husband and children. My actions were speaking louder than words and so God was making sure I wasn't loosening my tongue to contribute to the actions.)
I know one of the meanings of Eve is 'to speak in the face' but there is wisdom and timing in it, we cant just always speak in the face.
This meek and gentle spirit which is quiet, I have now learned was God being allowed to do a work in me. Isaiah says in ch.30 Through returning and rest you shall be saved in quietness and confidence shall be your strength. A woman who knows how and when to keep quiet has an enormous strength, if only we could believe it. Just as meekness is a very powerful force, so is quiet.
This quietness and meekness (meekness means coming under the hand of the Master like a horse who has strength under control, the ability to stand still when the Master says 'stand still' although every fiber of his being wants to move, but he submits to the Master, and doesn't trample around on the spot showing his impatience, but calmly waits) is what brought about so much change in me that all of a sudden I started to see the precious little blessings I had been missing all along cause I was so hard at labor to fix things that didn't need fixing, and if it did, the fixing was not to be done by me, but by the Great Physician Himself.
When we take a step back and look, and really allow God to show us how much He has done and how little our involvement was, it will give us faith to rest more assured in His almighty hand to complete the good work He started in each of us.
Now, I am blessed with these little refreshing moments like "mommy, I love you very, very much"; a kiss on the cheek out of the blue from the man I love, a unexpected bunch of flowers, a sweet treat, a "don't worry about dinner, I'll pick something up"; and my favorite so far, as we were blessed to have a drive in a very smart and very fast car, my husband so kindly says to the driver, 'And no faster than 120km/p/h cause you have precious cargo in the seat'. Man, my heart swelled. I began to see how much my children go out of their way to please me and bless me. The unexpected cup of coffee when I was just thinking I ought to make one. The house all cleaned up and tidy when I get up from a afternoon nap, the flowers they picked from a neighbors garden or in the field as we walked. Sacrificing birthday money to get me a chocolate to say 'I love you mommy'. The many, many, 'thank you for teaching us mommy', or, "wow, the food was mwha!" or the little poem I find folded on my bed. Or how about the mud man he made just for you, or the icy cold wet hug when they just came out of the cold ocean, or the chocolate kiss on your just perfectly makeup-ed face on your way out cause they want you to have a wonderful time. The sticky jelly baby fingers in your hair after a hug between the swing and the jungle gym. You've worked hard to clean the kitchen after guests left late so you can sleep late on Saturday and come to a clean kitchen, when you walk in an find, the kids decided to spoil mom and dad with breakfast but forgot to clean up, and there's egg on the stove, milk and coffee on the counter...... Or, like just now, a hug and wet soup kiss on the cheek followed by the words, "just to make you feel better after all the disciplining again today." Can we manage to smile and just enjoy the effort they put in?
All our husbands and children want is that we see the little things they do that are big things to them, and to acknowledge each and every one of those things, even if it was at 6am in the morning and the sleep is still thick in your eyes and your 6 year old just accomplished making coffee and even if it is EXTREMELY strong and ice cold, to smile and hug and kiss for the effort made.
We get so easily despondent at untidy bedrooms and unwashed baths and wet towels on the floor, dirty laundry from a week ago, swimming towel from last weeks training. Dinner plates under the couch, toilets un-flushed. We take it so personally when hubby comes home, flops on the bed and sleeps till you wake him to get out of his work clothes, and then he sleeps till tomorrow, and this may continue for a week. Or he's not in the mood for conversation or visiting with friends. But, what about all the other things he does get right......

Let's let go of the dead works of trying to fix everyone and everything and allow God to do the shaping and pruning and we learn to appreciate the little things.
That unity in our marriages, those deep loving relationships between our husbands and sons and husbands and daughters; us and our children, us and our husbands, that we so desperately want. How about we just stop focusing on all the work that still needs to be done. We stop trying to make everyone else around us 'do what the pastor preached' and we do what he preached! How about we just move with what God tells us to do; "I do nothing of myself, as my Father taught me..." (John 8)
Lets rest in the capable hands of the Lord and allow Him to do the work. Let's stop fearing and being anxious and enjoy life! Wear our t-shirt in-side-out, run around a circle instead of a block, swim in the ocean on a rainy day, swing in the park, roll in the flowers, bake a mud cake, sing with the birds, dance in the rain, climb a tree.
Appreciate and enjoy every little moment!
(c) Celeste Glass







(Go to www.harvesterchurch.net to find and download the audio sermon on meekness and humility by apostle Andre Pelser in September 2010 and at the Apostolic Summit also September 2010. Go to mbc@harvesterchurch.org.za for inquiries on the subject Submission)

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