For the life of me, I have no idea why my 17-month-old couldn’t sleep last night. Finally at 2:00 a.m., I brought him downstairs so my husband could get some sleep.
We rocked. I got him a cup of almond milk. We rocked some more. I turned on cartoons. I sang to him. I got him a snack, which he gobbled up. I gave him some water, and we rocked a million times more.
Was he still feeling sick? No, his ears and tummy seemed fine. Teething? Maybe. All I knew was he was fussy and just wouldn’t go back to sleep.
I started to half-ignore him, my patience wearing thin. I dutifully rocked him, sleepily browsing Facebook on my phone and trying not to snap. Nothing was helping him anyway!
Out of the blue, the Holy Spirit made me think of this scripture:
…for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.” Matthew 25:35-36 NRSV
I began picturing Mother Mary rocking baby Jesus. Surely he was fussy or sick at times and she felt the same exhaustion!
My entire attitude changed. Peacefully, I held my baby tight to my chest, snuggling cheek to cheek. I softly whispered prayers in his ear. I’m doing this for you, Jesus. I’m doing this for You. He settled down about an hour later, sound asleep in my arms.
At 5:00 a.m. my big kids woke up to start getting ready for school. The peaceful feeling that had washed over me remained. Miraculously, I packed six school lunches and got breakfast for everyone without biting their heads off. I was tired, but kind to everyone!
I think I have been a stay-at-home mom for so long (16 years!) that I forget that I serve Jesus every day. At this season of my life, I can’t start an orphanage or leave my responsibilities to care for the poor. Right here, right now, what I am doing for my family is how Jesus wants me to serve Him. Am I treating my family how I would treat Jesus?
Many of you reading this may not be in the midst of raising babies and toddlers. Maybe you are
- tolerating a not-so-nice coworker.
- primary caregiver for a sick parent.
- in the middle of health problems yourself, fighting to stay optimistic and kind to others.
- in a quarrel with your spouse, refusing to say you are sorry.
- having a super hard time being kind to your rebellious teen.
Maybe my Holy Spirit moment will help you deal with whatever challenges you face today. Imagine the challenging situation or person is Jesus giving you the opportunity to serve Him. Jesus will not fail to pour plenty of grace, mercy, and peace upon you!