Read His Words Before Ours!
2 Peter 3:1-13
I have 7 kids at home from newborn to teenager. Besides the obvious fact that I live in crazy town sprinkled with hilarity and wrapped in sweet love, I also live in monotony. Schedules keep us sane. Everyone has a job and each day flows pretty much like the one before it and the one before that and the one before that.
Some evenings, as I take scrub brush to dirty plate or fold that 3rd load of laundry or pick up the same toy I had already put away or repeat the same directions I’d already said 10 times, I wonder…is this all there is? Is this my big calling in life? Monotony?
Whether your days are full of mommy-moments, school classes, deadlines for work, or something else entirely, I bet we’ve both wondered the same thing.
Is this everyday-life-stuff really mattering?
I read about the apostle Paul and all that he did….and I feel kind of…lame.
Reading Acts straight through, it seems like Paul really had it all together for Jesus. Preaching, getting persecuted, risking his life for the gospel, proclaiming Jesus at every turn, writing letters to the churches, traveling abroad as a missionary.
It’s like every single day in the life of Paul was spent doing something incredible for God.
My everyday? Well, seeing as how I’m on my 10,000th diaper (yeah, that’s not an exaggeration, I calculated out an average over 7 babies), I’m not so sure I’ll ever have a day that looks like one of Paul’s.
But then I read a teeny, tiny little phrase that began changing my super-human perspective on Paul. “But I went away to Arabia and returned to Damascus. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem…” He points out his calling to the Gentiles and then takes just a few words to tell us that, before he began his work of preaching in Jerusalem, there were 3 years. Three years we know nothing about. Three years of waiting. Three years of day-to-day regular life.
Then there’s Moses. Pretty big Bible character, right? Brought down plagues on the Egyptians, freed the Israelites from Egypt, parted the Red Sea, and led the entire nation through the desert. But before he became a hero, he was a fugitive for murder, which left him in another desert, shepherding stupid sheep for 40 years. Forty years of waiting, of wondering if this was it. Forty years of everyday, ordinary work and marriage.
But God wasted none of this.
Timing is huge for God. It’s exact. It’s precise. It’s His.
He sent His Son at the perfect time in history.
Jesus will come back at the perfect time, decided and known only by God the Father Himself.
Just as we are waiting here in the everyday, God is waiting also.
And He’s using the wait.
Though we don’t know what Paul did in those three years, based on his ministry later, it clearly wasn’t wasted, no matter what his everyday looked like. Paul walked away from the duties of the law, everything he was, and all he had known, and spent time being transformed and taught by Jesus.
And Moses’ forty years? The prince turned pauper, was learning how to shepherd. And when he was ready, when the Hebrew people were ready, when the time was just right, God moved him into shepherding people instead. His arrogance was gone, his head had cleared, and he probably had learned a great deal about patience. He learned about relationships when he married and lived in a tent with his father-in-law, and he had become an expert in the ways of the desert. Along the way, he discovered the holiness, the tenderness, the compassion, and the authority of God.
Even in my life of dishes and dinner and dirty laundry, I can look back and see God shaping my heart, teaching me patience, teaching me love, teaching me about Himself even here in the mundane. I’m closer in my walk with Jesus now than I was even six months ago
….because God is teaching me to worship.
See, worship is the lynch pin in life. What you worship speaks to what your life will become. It’s the deciding factor in whether the waiting will be wasted or not. We can either worship self or the Savior, the choice is ours, but it is a choice.
Moses’ life ended and the torch of leadership was passed to Joshua, who led Israel faithfully and after nearly 3 decades of conquest and leaning into God, Joshua’s final call to the people was about worship. “Choose this day whom you will worship.” (HCSB)
The same choice is ours.
Our every day moments, will be here again tomorrow and will be here as soon as you finish reading this, the choice is the same too. What will you worship in the now?
Like Paul, like Moses, like Joshua, like you, like me,
when we give Him our worship,
there’s no telling how He will build His kingdom in and through us!
He will never waste your worship, or the waiting.
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