For many years I have read the classic devotional “My Utmost for His Highest.”
Let me be honest here. Some days I just read the words of Dr. Os (which is what I affectionately call Oswald Chambers) and they don’t penetrate my soul. Just as often happens in my daily quiet times of Bible reading and prayer, this devotional reading can be more of a habit than a spiritual discipline.
And since I’m being truthful…
There are days…wait there have been weeks….okay…there have even been seasons in my life where I got up from my reading and praying as dry as I was when I sat down to read or pray.
Nothing. Nothing changed in me. No holy fire from heaven. My spirit remained thirsty. My heart remained unsteady.
I have often succumbed to the pressures of this world on women.
The idea that a woman can have it all and still maintain her sanity all while keeping a perfectly clean and trendy house, meeting all of her spouses needs, feeding her children only organic food, and making it to the gym every day.
On top of the pressures of the world, in recent years the Christian culture has lumped another burden on women.
This message is spoken loudly these days from the pulpit, the blogosphere, and around small circles of women gathering in coffee shops.
The pressure to do “big things” for God.
The pressure to raise “world changers.”
The pressure to rescue the orphans.
The pressure to free the sex slaves.
Now don’t get mad at me just yet. Give me a chance to explain.
I am all about doing big things. Just ask my husband. I am a dreamer. Daily I battle with restless to ‘do’ something more for God.
And nothing would please this momma’s heart more than to someday put my children on a plane to ‘go change the world.’
And those orphans. I had a heart for the Fatherless way before there was a much needed renewal of this long neglected teaching of the Bible.
So…isn’t all of the pressure “good Christian peer pressure?”
I’m not sure.
As I visit and work with women in the church….I am beginning to think that for many the constant message of “doing big” has had the opposite effect on women.
Instead I have found myself in a generation of women (and I include myself in this) that have grown discontent.
Single women. Married women. Divorced women. Women living in wealth. Women living in poverty. Young women. Older women. It seems that life’s circumstances are not the driving force behind this discontentment.
Discontentment can often be a good thing. It can lead to aligning one’s wandering heart to the Lord’s.
However, discontentment can become a state of mind that causes us to miss the contentment we should find in the present.
I believe the latter is the sort of discontentment I see in women of this generation.
I think if we are all honest we could admit that we have lived many days wasted in the mindset of discontentment.
If only I could ‘do’ something big like so and so, then I will be contented and satisfied with who I am in Christ.
If only this toddler stage would speed up, then I will have the time and energy to be all that God has designed me to be.
When I get married….when we make more money…when my husband gets out of school…when the kids are out of diapers…when we have our dream home.
All the “if onlys” and “whens” have been the cause of many blessings of ‘today’ to slip right through my fingers.
I am not blaming anyone or anything.
But I do want to plug my ears to all the pressures that are screaming at women to “do” more.
Could we all just raise our hands up in the air and scream loudly
This is where my daily devotional that I read this morning comes in. This morning Dr. Os’ words were like lavender oil on my soul.
My heart has been restless. My spirit discontent. A place I find myself way too often.
“We have the idea that God is going to do some exceptional thing–that He is preparing and equipping us for some extraordinary work in the future. But as we grow in His grace we find that God is glorifying Himself here and now, at this very moment. If we have God’s assurance behind you, the most amazing strength becomes ours, and we learn to sing, glorifying Him even in the ordinary days and ways of life.”
So, I wonder.
I wonder what would happen if we as women could learn ‘to sing and glorify God in the ordinary days and ways of life.’
I have a guess.
I’ll bet that instead of us doing “big things for God,” God begins doing big things through us on ordinary days in ordinary ways.
The big things won’t be planned. They will sneak up on us and surprise us.
World changers would be raised.
Orphans would be rescued.
Slaves would be freed.
And I’ll put my money on the fact that if we do less and ‘be present in today’ more, then we will find ourselves right in the middle of big things that God is doing.