In general, I feel like I have a semi-reasonable handle on my life.
I mean, don’t get me wrong. I still fit into the “hot mess mom” category, but all my people are fed and we don’t live in general squalor and I even have managed to implement some routines that make life feel a little smoother, mostly. I’m not on fire all the time, but life kind of works. Occasionally, I’ll even have people mention how organized I must be. (I always look at them, kind of confused… I always, always, always feel like I’m in the center of a swirling vortex of chaos. But again, the people get fed and the chores get done, so I sort of see the point.)
As I mentioned last week, that is totally not the case at the moment. It’s a challenging season around here. As challenging seasons go, this one could be a lot worse. The difficulty level (or rather, my lack of capacity for the normal difficulty level) seems substantial, but there’s a definite time limit. This season will change (and give way to a different kind of challenge) in about a month. That’s not so bad. I can do anything for a month.
But even in the midst of this constant feeling of “ohmygoodness, I CAN’T,” I am finding gifts. Every day, I’m given just enough grace for today. (Frequently, it’s dispensed moment by moment.)
And I am struck by how glaringly obvious my need for grace is. It’s not optional. If Jesus doesn’t give me what I need RIGHT. THIS. MINUTE. something is going to go horribly, horribly wrong. (And, because of new-every-morning mercies, He always does.)
Wait, what now? How is that different from the rest of the time?
Suddenly, my pride is revealed, just as glaringly as my need for grace.
See, I really, truly believe I’ve got this. Most of the time. All the other times. (Well, not all the other times. Because hot mess. But mostly.) How did I get here? I talked more than a year ago about “grace extravagant” when all the gifts seemed so over-the-top, and realized that every moment is extravagant grace, not just the ones where I see the crazy abundance. Now, somehow, I’ve talked myself into “grace unnecessary”? I’ve no need for grace, unless things get bad?
May I walk in constant awareness of my constant need for grace and mercy. May it be part of my heart and my mind and my lens to see the world like some Eastern Orthodox believers who consistently pray, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon me.”
In addition to the desperate need for daily grace right now and the recognition of my pride in general (lovely), something else has been coming up. Repeatedly.
After this time had passed, I, Nebuchadnezzar, looked up to heaven. My sanity returned, and I praised and worshiped the Most High and honored the one who lives forever.
He looked up.
For every look at yourself, take ten looks at Christ.
And suddenly, I started seeing this concept everywhere. All week. Stop looking at your circumstances, Robin. Look up. Fix your eyes on Christ, the author and perfecter of your faith. Since then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. I could keep going. It’s been all over.
All right, then.
So here are the big ideas from the beginning of my month of total inability:
There is always enough grace for the moment I’m in.
I don’t only need moment-by-moment grace when I feel unable to handle my life. I always need it, whether or not I see that.
Look up. I need to pay more attention to who God is and what He’s doing than to the things going on in my life that are making me crazy.