Motherhood puts my people-pleasing-talents to the test. It’s hard to be a people-pleaser who can’t keep up the pace.
For one thing, I have two little children who’ve taken to heart the words of the old song: ‘Make all my wants and wishes known.’ There’s no way one tired mama can (or should) fulfill all their wants and wishes. And yet, I end each day feeling the weight of not being enough for them.
But now a new guilt steals over me. God gets my leftovers again, and my spiritual life feels like one more demand I can’t satisfy, one more person wanting a piece of me. I’m not sure how to find the desire and the joy of spending time with him.
In tears I express my frustrations to my husband. He reminds me that while the kids and the house and bills and unreturned phone calls all feel like they’re screaming for a piece of me, God is different. God has no void in himself he needs me to fill. God loves me and is my strong support and help.
In John 13, on the evening of his betrayal, Jesus’ disciples winced as Jesus gathered the supplies of the lowliest slave and began washing grown men’s feet.
And just like Peter, I too balk at the idea that I would sit still at a low, wooden table and let Jesus serve me food and drink, and then wash my feet.
The truth that God is ‘not served by human hands’ is a hard pill for this approval-craving-junkie to swallow.
And yet, relief floods my soul. This gospel is really true: there’s a place I can go to drink, to eat, to lean, to rest. There’s a strong, able, saving God who is not needy. He shows his strength to any needy mother who leans, trusts, and rests in him for help.
It’s a glorious thing to curl up on the couch at night and lean into the bosom of one who doesn’t demand a piece of me, doesn’t have a void that he needs for me to fill, doesn’t have a need for me to supply.
It’s upside-down. It’s revolutionary. This isn’t a God with lack who needs me to give my life for him. This is a God who gave his life for me.