Creating Margin to Seek God

I was awake at 2 am, feeding my newborn son, and scrolling social media in an effort to stay awake.  I drowsily skimmed a very popular blog in which the writer, burdened by her daily responsibilities, complained to a friend that she couldn’t deeply connect with God.  Her friend responded that God, knowing women can’t abandon child-rearing, and home-making, is kind to meet them where they are.  The writer cites several biblical stories where Jesus met women in their everyday work.  The woman at the well.  Even the women visiting Jesus’ tomb were completing their womanly burial chores when they encountered the risen Christ.  The blog ended by encouraging readers, that although men meet God on the mountaintops, God descends to meet women in ordinary places.

Feeding completed, I laid my baby in his bassinet and hauled my zombie self back to bed.  I didn’t give the blog a second thought.  It was nice, but my mom-brain wasn’t receiving any new input.

Until I came across the same blog a few days later.  This time, instead of finding it, a nice encouraging piece, I bristled.  I left the post feeling indignant, honestly.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  I’m blessed to know that God loves me, and sees me, and enters into my everyday life.  In this season of parenting babies and toddlers, I’m more grateful now than ever that my relationship with God doesn’t rely on what I can bring to the table.  When I was in college I regularly practiced the spiritual discipline of solitude and silence.  This season of parenting banishes both of those practices.  What is silence?  And solitude?  I barely remember it!  My two year-old weeps bitterly if I close the door when I go to the bathroom!

Praise God that he meets me, and pursues me, and reveals himself to me, even though I can barely read a chapter of scripture these days.  Praise God that his love for me isn’t contingent on how earnestly I love him.

That being said, the subtext of this blog is dangerous for a tired, burned-out Christian woman.

“Don’t strive.  Don’t seek.  Don’t sojourn.  If you’re a wife, or mother, or caregiver, there’s no time to seek God.  The housework is too important.  But don’t fret.  God is there in the sweeping, the scrubbing, and shuttling, and that should be enough for you.”

Is it hard to make space for God sometimes?  Yes.  Are we overly busy, over-scheduled, and over-stressed?  My goodness, yes.  Is it enough to simply leave it here, and resign ourselves to communing with God over a sink of dirty dishes?  No.  No, sister, it’s not.  It will look different in different seasons, but you, valiant woman of God, must climb the mountain to meet God.

Like the ancient Hebrew women, singing their songs of ascent as they traveled to seek God in his temple, our hearts should be set on pilgrimage.  Just like the women, uncounted, but still present witnessed Jesus’ miracle of multiplying loaves and fishes, we need to receive, and listen, and be amazed.  Like Miriam, dancing and singing after the parting of the Red Sea, we need to lead our loved ones in worship, celebration, and remembrance.  And like Mary Magdalene, we need to receive Christ’s calling to preach the good news of the resurrection.

Even if it means the floor is unswept for a day or two.  Even if it means you haul your babies up the mountain as you go.  Make the time and create the margin to seek God.  Because even though God meets us in the mundane, he also honors our every effort to pursue him.

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and the one who knocks it will be opened.  Matthew 7:7-8

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