It was nothing, and it was everything.
It was a goofy voice that grated on me in the pre-school rush. It was a sock that wouldn’t fit quite right, and the tears that followed. It was a batch of homemade cinnamon rolls that no one ate because anything else is better than my cinnamon rolls. It was Legos on the floor and books on the table and ponies on the hall.
I know it’s nothing. I know it’s life, a life lived full and abundant. But telling myself that feels like telling a pot of heating water not to boil. Get it hot enough and it will boil no matter how you shout at it that everything is going to be fine.
Then everything’s not fine. I’m snapping and K cries harder as I throw the offending sock in the trash. M looks crestfallen as I remind him for the umpteenth time that I will boil over (too late) upon whiny voice. I’ve scalded everyone in a few seconds time, including myself. How could I hurt them, these sweet precious gifts of God? When I knew it was coming, when I love them and Jesus so much, when I want nothing more to be the very best mother/person I can be?
In the midst of my self-flagellation, the verse comes to me: being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:6). Only I don’t feel like a good work. I feel like pieces of crap cobbled together to the burden of my family and the disappointment of my Lord.
I realize that’s not true. It doesn’t mean I don’t feel like that anyway. I repeat the verse in my head, trying to force myself into confidence because I don’t want to add “ignores scriptural truths” to my list of charges. And when it I shove it back at God, angry, He’s so very gentle.
Have a little faith.
And before I can protest–before I can begin the ardent defense of my faith, He continues:
Have a little faith in yourself.
Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. (Hebrews 11:1)
I don’t see it, not right now. But I am a good work, and God is continuing to do good work in and through me. Believing that’s true, that’s part of my faith.
See, we mostly quantify faith as “believing in God,” in His truths, promises, sacrifice and resurrection. But faith, biblically defined, is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. In God, in others, in ourselves. It is believing, in the face of a most messed up morning, that we are indeed good works, pressing on toward completion. That we are capable of something different, something more. That through God all things are possible.
I have immense faith in God. But in myself? Not so much. Maybe it’s time I spread that faith around.