“Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” Luke 1:45
My sister-in-law has a lot going on, as I think most women do. We’re just busy. So busy. We become hurried and rushed and before we know it, we’re covered up by a list of to-do’s that keep us distracted from the things that really matter. Like our kids. For me, it’s the dishes and the laundry and the work emails and the paperwork and the cat boxes and the appointments and the practices and so on and so forth. So much. I scurry here and there and before I know it, it’s bedtime. And that’s when guilt sets in. Because that’s when I have time to contemplate my day and realize I did nothing that I really wanted to do. Like pour myself into my child. Oh, I may have accomplished some things on my to-do list… but what about my child. Did I put any of myself into him before tucking him into his bed?
Rushing. It’s part of a mother’s life. For me… this leads to the wilderness mentality. Some of you may know what I’m talking about. God’s chosen people, the Israelites, wandered in the wilderness forty years. Basically, a desert land. And sadly, just about every one of them died in that desert land for they were unable to enter the land of promise. It was disbelief that kept them out. But two made it. There were who heard what God had to say. And they believed Him. Those two entered into God’s promises, for they believed.
Yep, the wilderness. Too often, this is where I find myself. Because my busyness leads me there. And when my to-do list is not finished by the end of the day, I feel upset. What Jesus said to Martha, He says to me, “Pam, Pam, you’re worried and upset about many things.” It’s no coincidence I read this passage of Scripture on Monday, for it’s a picture of me. No doubt, this week has been busy. So busy. I’ve been so distracted and have accomplished nothing that I really wanted to. You know, the things that really matter. Those items that end up at the bottom of an undone list. Like pouring myself into my child.
The funny thing about the wilderness is, I believe it’s a necessary destination for each of God’s children. The only difference is the duration of the stay. Some may remain there forty years, like God’s chosen people. Or perhaps, some are more spiritually grounded and wander only a short while, like Jesus. He was in the wilderness forty days and nights. Or what about John the Baptist? I can’t be certain, but I believe he was in the wilderness until he was about 29 years old. And it was this John who was chosen by God for a particular task. But he had to be ready. And it was during his wilderness stay that God prepared him for what he was created to do…
And you, my child, will be called a prophet of the Most High; for you will go on before the Lord to prepare the way for him, to give his people the knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.” Luke 1:76-79
You know, we’re no different than John the Baptist. Like John, God created each one of us for a specific purpose. While we were in our mothers’ womb, He knew what He had in mind for us. But through the course of life, we can become busy. We get off track from His course. And it’s those times we can feel like we’re roaming the wilderness. However, we can still be used by Him. Even when we have dry, parched seasons and we feel that we’re running and running but getting no where, even there… God can use us. Like John, we can be a voice of one crying out. Like John the Baptist, we too, can be heard.
A voice of one crying out: Prepare the way of the LORD in the wilderness; make a straight highway for our God in the desert. Isaiah 40:3
Yep, this week has been busy. My sister-in-law can attest to that. And I’m sure that through her busyness, she’s become dry. I bet she feels like she’s been running and running until she has nothing left to offer. I guarantee you by the end of her day, when all is quiet, she has regret. I’m sure she beats herself up, thinking, “I should have done this…” I know she wonders if she poured enough of herself into her children. And you know what? I think she has. I think God used her even while she trudged through a wilderness land. For she’s the voice of one crying out. Isaiah 53:1 says, “Who has believed what we have heard? And who has the arm of the LORD been revealed to?” And I think my niece. For she has heard her mother’s voice. And more importantly, she believes. For my niece’s heart overflowed onto her mirror sometime this past weekend…
Oh, the belief of this child! Who has believed what she has heard? She has. And who has the arm of the LORD been revealed to? To her. For she proclaims, “O Lord, how powerful are you! For how beloved I am! My God O mighty is the only one that is on top of all of us! O how I love Him!” You know, Isaiah 40:22 declares, “God is enthroned above the circle of the earth.” The writing on the wall (or mirror) essentially proclaims the same. God’s word is in this child. She is a voice of one crying out. For the One who is worthy of all praise will be praised. If we don’t open our mouths to do so, even the stones will cry out (Luke 19:40). And if we don’t open our mouths, even the children will cry out, for “You have taught children and infants to tell of your strength…” (Psalm 8:2).
Yes, it’s true. Mothers can become overtaken by hectic schedules. And it’s true that we can end up in a desert land. It’s a fact that we sometimes wander through the wilderness because of our overstuffed days… but those times are necessary. It’s a season of preparation. For it’s then that we’re strengthened and we grow. And it’s through our wilderness roaming that we turn to Him.
You know, every day we have a choice. We can be a Martha or a Mary (Luke 10:38-42). And no doubt, we will be both of these women throughout our journey. However, when we find ourselves in the way of Martha, let’s not beat ourselves up. Let’s not wallow in guilt and regret, thinking, “If only I did this…” Because praise God, today’s a new day! Today, may we opt to be like Mary and choose that which is better. For His word won’t be taken from us. And let’s take that which is better, and pour it into our children.
And for those who find themselves in the wilderness today, take heart. He can still use you. Like John, be that one. Be the voice of one crying out, “Prepare the way of the Lord…” I guarantee you, there will be someone to listen. And more importantly, there will be someone to believe. Like my niece. She believes.
And the child grew and became strong in spirit; and he lived in the wilderness until he appeared publicly to Israel. Luke 1:80