Happy New Year from the Brookses!
We at our church kicked off the year with a sermon on the sovereignty of God.
It was one of those talks you need to hear about once a week for the rest of your life. I know God is in charge – in fact I’d just been thanking him for that earlier in the day – but then again, I forget. I know he’s in charge of some things, especially important things. But is he in charge of little details in my day? And is he in charge of random events and so-called chance encounters and long days of watching the clock and then wondering where the time went?
Yes, he’s in charge of that too.
The lot is cast into the lap,
but its every decision is from the Lord. Proverbs 16:33.
When the day stretches out ahead of me and there’s no structure to pin it to, I feel like I’m floating along and not making any mark whatsoever. I could roll a dice and let it decide what I should do today – it’s totally unnerving. When I worked as a teacher, I would get home at the end of the day and feel I’d achieved something. It wasn’t always particularly true, but the fact I’d ‘been to work’ was usually enough. But being at home with little ones isn’t like that, and it’s quite an adjustment! Four years on, I’m still coming to terms with it.
Sometimes, much of what we do seems a bit pointless (if not counterproductive). Examples of things mums or dads end up doing which don’t always seem to have much of a noble purpose:
- You decide to go to the playground to cheer everyone up a bit, but then one child injurs herself and another wets himself and of course you forgot to bring spare trousers and snacks.
- You watch your toddler go up and down the stairs one hundred and seventeen times.
- You mop the hall floor, but nobody will ever know because by 6pm it will look exactly the same as it did before.
- You go to that toddler group but nobody talks to you and your child doesn’t want to play.
- You spend an hour cooking something tasty and nutritious for your baby, who promptly throws it on the floor and wails until you fill him with rice cakes.
- You’ve spent months developing a friendship with the mum who didn’t mention she is moving to Devon tomorrow.
- You take your toddlers to see a dinosaur exhibition, and they have nightmares for the next three months.
You might read this and think, “Of course those are great things to do! Your child is developing! You’re showing them you love them!” etc. However, is it just me or at the time does it not really feel like that most days?
Sometimes things seem to fall into place – I bump into people I’ve been wanting to see, or my child really grasps something I’ve been teaching him, or my husband actually says, ‘the flat looks lovely’ (it’s not his fault – it usually doesn’t). And then I can believe that God is sovereignly working for my good. But what I need to remember is that he’s in charge of the things that seem pointless, which of course means that they’re not pointless at all, because in all things God works for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28). If you believe and trust in the Lord Jesus, then each day God is making you more like Christ, because that’s what you were made for.
So if you’re looking at January and thinking – “I have no plans, just the same old same old. School run. Change nappies. Try to make friends at the park. Treat myself to a coffee? Try to read that book. Go to the library if I can face it…” Then that’s OK, because, wonderfully, God’s 2015 calendar is full of plans for you:
… all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be. Ps 139:16