“All I need today is a little bit of coffee and a whole lot of Jesus.” Like this picture? I do. I saw this sign on my friend’s Facebook page and I knew that I had found the sign for my kitchen.. actually for my life at the moment.
This last week my hubby and I have been getting up at 4.30am and I am not getting to bed until 10.30pm. The days have been busy…very busy.
Now those who know me well (like my children), know that when I have very little sleep, it means one thing – very little patience indeed.
I know that this is not how it should be, right? After all I am a Christian, right? I am supposed to be Godly woman, with the patience of a saint.
You know, afternoons are the pits for me. I am a morning person who wakes most mornings between 5-6AM. I wake chattering and laughing, and constantly trying to keep it under control as the males in my life groan and pull the covers over their head to avoid my cheeriness. I hit the floor boards running. I am patient, lovable, giggly, talkative and can conquer the world.
But afternoons!!! Wow. I have run out of good mood, and this little fuzzy cutie-pie has run out of Zing and Zip. And it is pretty much so down hill from about 2pm onwards. So, by the time the children come home from school, I am ready to pack them to bed and curl up for the night.
I am yet to get through after-school snacks (which for two teenage boys is like emptying the fridge onto the table), folding clothes, cleaning up after my two whirlwinds (aka teenage boys) have gone through the house, run the children to sports trainings, supervised school homework, had a cuppa with my hard working husband, water the vegie patch, cook dinner, clean up after dinner, supervise bedtimes, have another cuppa with my hubby, fed and put to bed the animals, and then get ready for bed.
Oh.. and by the way – I am the only early bird in our family!! That means this – when I am ready to die for the night, everyone else is just ramping up the volume. Do you get what I mean?
For me I need Jesus a lot of an afternoon and evening. For the past couple of months, I have needed Pentecost… a move of the Spirit.
I need sleep like some people need clothes – just enough to cover the body decently, but not too much to overdo it. Eight hours of sleep is a really good amount. Eight and a half has me purring happily….until 2pm in the afternoon!!
When my children were babies I was living on 2-3 hours of sleep a night. To cope I was having a sleep in the middle of the day with my children. It was the only way I could cope. The cleaning, washing, cooking and everything else just had to wait. Both of my babies fussy and didn’t like sleeping… at night anyway! My youngest was unwell and I spent a lot of night walking the floor with him until he was about 2 and a half years old. It was during this part of my life that my marriage failed and that I realised that I had too much reliance on myself rather than on God. I needed a whole lot of Jesus, and didn’t know how.
There are times in my life where I have had to draw on reserves that are not there. I need God’s word and His Spirit to comfort, teach and help me when I face the hard times. Lately it has been lack of time, exhaustion and stretching myself in areas that I have had no experience to deal with the situations I have found myself in – like bringing up teens, a three-year court battle, starting out in ministry and menopause. All things that are not difficult, not life threatening, just…well…interesting. Times when I and needing God for wisdom, strength, and comfort.
But this is not the only time I need God. It is not only these times I need the way of forgiveness that Jesus provided on the cross, or the help and comfort of the Holy Spirit. It is each and every day I need His word and Him.
If the Jesus I need is the one that I run to when things are bad, or hide behind when I am scared, or the one that causes me to puff up when I want to look down on others – then He is not Jesus. It is actually just me pretending to be Christian. I lived as a pretend Christian for many years.
The Jesus that I need is the One that changes me – the Jesus that redeemed and saved me for a reason. He sent His Holy Spirit that I would be different, changed, and renewed.
If the Jesus I have, is only allowed in the surface areas of my life, then He is not Jesus at all. He is the “Jesus-when-I-want”, or the “Jesus-I-am-scared” or maybe the “Jesus-hear-my-prayer”.
My dad would talk about “foxhole Christians”. According to him, they were the Christians that prayed when they were cowering in the foxholes trying to survive an attack by the opposing army in a war. But when they came out… well… they just went back to living how they want.
To have a relationship with God that is this momentary and fleeting, is like have a friend who you only contact when you need a cup of sugar. It’s like having an umbrella in your hand and not using it while it rains.
Don’t limit God by having Him there just in case you might need Him.
There are days when I know that God is allowing my faith to be tested, there are days when He is silent, and there are days when all I can do is hang on to God’s promises. It is days like this, that God is growing me to encompass everything that He has for me – to have a whole lot more of His Spirit.
This is what I want. A whole lot less of me and a whole lot more of God. I am pretty sure that this is what He wants too.
John the Baptist used these words “He must increase, but I must decrease.”. While I understand that John was speaking of his ministry, and knowing that his life was soon to be over, it also can be applied to us, personally.
Our God is so much more than a surface God who is sitting back watching our chaotic life. He wants to get in there with us, help us and get His hands dirty. Now, I am pretty sure I have just upset a few people who wouldn’t like to think of God getting His hands dirty. Isn’t that what His Son did by dying on the cross? He came so that we would be saved. Isn’t that what God did by sending to us His Holy Spirit? To dwell with us?
I rely on God’s work (and workings) in my life while I am not all I should be. God is faithful. He is trustworthy.
So, this evening I reach for a cup of coffee and I am grateful for my “get your hands dirty God”, who loves me and helps me daily. My whole lot of Jesus seems an awesome decision to make.