Today is May 16th, and my daughter is due anytime, technically past due according to her estimated due date of May 11th.
I find that often I am tempted to grow anxious over things that do not go according to plan or do not go in my expected timeline. My daughter will be here in God’s best timing, not when my phone app says she is “overdue.” I know this in theory, but practically I have to fight my tendency in this and in many things to think I ultimately have any control over circumstances in my life. It always amuses me to look back and think that I ever did have that control!
The Proverbs 31 woman is marked with many amazing qualities, but one that often strikes me is that she laughs at the time to come (vs. 25). The future is not bleak for the woman who trusts in God’s timing. She can go about laboring (her work) in her home and for her family with joy knowing that the future, all that will come to pass, whether trial or ease can be a source of laughter. Why is this? She trusts in God for all seasons and finds peace in whatever is to be.
I often blog here about fun recipes or my essentials in my kitchen and home. These are wonderful things that I deeply enjoy and love to share with others. However, none of these things truly have value without a mark of joy in them. If I am miserable in preparing baby food, folding laundry, cleaning the floor, making my DIY toothpaste, or cooking lunch in the cast-iron, I cannot actually be a giver of life to my family. I am waiting for my daughter’s arrival, but there is much I can do until she is here! I have a son to feed, interact with, care for and nurture. I have a husband to pray for and encourage in his work. I have lunch to put out on the table in the next hour. Our lunch may look much simpler today being that I am 5 days past 40 weeks, but it is still my delight. Waiting should not be inactive. If we find ourselves toiling in our minds over what could be or might have been, we will just grow increasingly anxious.
We should know that we are limited creatures that will often fail. My husband reminds me that failing well is important. We will fail our families, our own expectations, and every day through sinful hearts, we will not meet God’s standards. There is hope in our lack, however. Christ gives us a reason to toil in joy and be thankful that we cannot do ANYTHING apart from his grace. That should motivate us not towards laziness, but towards harder work. It is easy for me to stay in my own mind thinking that I am not good enough, that I’m too tired to persevere, or that I just want the next stage of life to be here! None of these thoughts give way to contentment and productivity. Our families need us to recognize our lack, work hard in our strengths and grow in the areas in which we are weak.
I would encourage anyone, but especially women (who tend to grow anxious easily–trust me, I know!), to find joy in whatever place in life the Lord has you. He tests us to see if our joy is in him or in ourselves. I am waiting for my daughter to be here with pains in my hip and quite a bit of fatigue…can I wait in joy? He may be asking you to wait much longer than you like to fill your womb. You may be single, waiting for a wonderful man to lead and love you. Do you trust God’s timing? It is so much better than our own.
I will leave you with this. Whatever our God ordains is right (see the hymn). Rejoice in him and find contentment in the everyday and in the seasons of serious waiting. How can we love others when our daily tasks feel like a grind? Turn to God in thankfulness and ask him to give you the perfect joy of Christ. Be marked as a strong woman who labors hard and laughs at the time to come.
Laboring for joy with you all,
The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment–Jeremiah Burroughs
Learning Contentment–Nancy Wilson