Errands, Tantrums, and the Gospel
My sister’s baby had a fever, so I ran by her house the other week to pick up two of her kids and take them with me on my errands to give her a little break. They were prattling on like little girls do, talking about nothing and everything. On our way home, we were listening to a local Christian radio station and Everfound’s “God of the Impossible” came on. Now, I’m not a fan of Christian radio per se, but the lyrics got me thinking about my life and what I was doing with it. “Here I am, Lord send me. I won’t look back cause I was made to be a part of the impossible, you’re God of the impossible…I dare to believe in incredible things, I’m ready to go, ready to go.” As I was driving, listening to mindless chatter and my son babbling in the back seat, I thought, “Gosh, there is so much I could do with my life. I could go to Africa and take care of orphans, or go back to Haiti and work at the orphanage there. Or even Bolivia, learning Spanish and preaching the Gospel in La Paz. Yet here I am, going to Walmart and buying groceries and living a pretty mindless life. I want to do GREAT THINGS!” All the while the song kept playing in the background…here I am, Lord send me.
It was then, in the way the Holy Spirit does, in the midst of me bemoaning my mindless-motherhood-running errands life, that I was reminded of what I really am doing. There were three little people in my car, one my own son, who don’t know Jesus. They know OF him, but they don’t know him in a saving way. The God of the impossible has made it possible for them to be saved, and they will hear it and see it directly from me. All three of them, in very similar ways, will watch as I interact with my husband, as I serve the church, as I correct them in their sin and show them grace, and as I worship my Savior in the everyday tasks he has given me. Yes, there are orphans in foreign countries who need help. And there are three orphans who need the gospel, and the help only it brings, right in front of me.
I smiled as a drove; thanking God for reminding me yet again of the amazing, awe-inspiring task he has given me. I have the privilege of preaching the gospel every day to Silas, Annie, and Danae, and all my other nieces and nephews, and my neighbors, and whomever else God brings in my path. God is sending me, and you, to those directly in front of us. Not all of us are called to foreign missions, but every single one of us are called to local missions. Are you working while going to college, busy and overwhelmed? God has called you to the mission field at your school and job. Are you a mom like me, with one or more kids, wondering where the fulfillment in your job is? You are called to the mission field in your home. Are you a pastor, struggling to build a church, trying to make ends meet in your home and church? God has called you to the mission field sitting in your pews. Are you a businessman, a truck driver, a dancer, a teacher, or a grocery clerk? Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, God has called you to do the impossible…to image Him to a watching world so that they see Christ through you. It really is an impossible task to complete on our own. Through the Holy Spirit, you can point others to Christ.
When I got home from running those errands, I set Silas in his high chair to feed him lunch. Would you believe me if I told you he threw a temper tantrum for 25 minutes over what I wanted him to eat? I could only laugh. God was already showing me that there is an abundance of grace even in the mundane, as my son freaks out because he wants yogurt and not mac n cheese. Finally he ate one bite of pasta, and I cheered like he had won an Olympic medal and gave him his yogurt. Through it all, I thanked God that he had given me this little sinner to show the Gospel to. To show that patience and compassion in the midst of his sin is not just Momma having a good day, while still firmly telling him he must obey. It is to show that ultimately God is the one who shows infinite patience and compassion to him, and does only what God can do…the impossible. By saving him from his rebellion.
So be encouraged. We can dare to do incredible things together, even if that means patiently listening to children talk about nothing and pretending to be interested. Or sending out another bill to another customer knowing they won’t pay it, but reminding yourself that at one time you couldn’t pay an even greater bill. Or getting up to preach again, waiting to see how many people actually pay attention this time, knowing that only God can reach cold hearts. He really is the God of the impossible. But maybe not in the ways we expect.