On Need & Submission

It is approximately 4pm.

With Amelia on my hip, I rifle through the pantry to get a jump on dinner. The measuring spoon occupying her curious hands drops to the floor for the fifth time in three minutes. 

Breathe. I bend low and return it to her tiny palm.

And while it seems so trivial, another part of me feels the significance of that decision to pick up the spoon just one more time. Breathe, one more time. Breathe, one more time.

This is the hour I need Him.

An article called “Santification in Quarantine” is precisely as revealing as it sounds. In it, the author writes: 

I could happily go along without seeing new layers of my selfishness. I’d love to not know about it. And yet, the removal of my ignorance is a gift from the Lord who is using a quarantine to scrape away my sin so I can look more like Jesus. When all the things we lean on for rest and comfort and approval are pulled from our daily dependence, what’s left is a silence that begs the question, “Is Jesus enough for you?”

The past few months, I’ve heard from others who say they have a window of time each day that just requires more. We need it all, apparently: energy, presence, discipline, patience, hope, kindness. Mid-afternoon is my window. And while I don’t want to give the window more power than it deserves, I do want to acknowledge the pattern and name the desire for a different way of being.

Luke 5: 1-5

One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. He saw at the water’s edge two boats, left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets.

He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat. When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.”

Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”

When making decisions is harder than I think it should be, and when serving others doesn’t illicit immediate joy, and when it seems like I have more time than ever but also not, it’s tempting to believe that I either need to disengage entirely or plow through without pause.

But in those moments, what I most need is not more self-care or willpower. What I most need is the reminder that God has given me everything I need for living a godly life (2 Pet. 1:3). That “everything” is not dependent on my strength or emotional regulation. 

I’m asking Him what it looks like to face that mid-afternoon window not with another cup of coffee, but in full view of my neediness and His life at work in me. And then be ready to take a step of obedience in faith if He asks.

It is approximately 5:30am.
10am.
1:15pm.
9pm. 
I realize what I know to be obviously true: these are the hours I need Him. 

“But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”

Breathe, one more time.

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