“For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.” John 13:15 (ESV)
It turns out newborns are great theologians. Who knew?
Babies don’t know why they cry. They just know something’s not right. You can lovingly pick them up and coo and coax, but they’re still going to be upset until you supply what they need — the things they can’t ask for yet.
I’m a lot like that, if I’m honest. I push, pull and try so hard to make things happen. My need for control can be overwhelming.
What I’m trying to do is learn from my children. What if I surrendered? What if I lifted up my open hands and said, “God, I don’t know what I need, but You do. Help me.”?
Before my firstborn, Grace, came along, my husband, Benjamin, and I had a good groove going. We were at work during the day, but we’d meet up for dinner, share about our day — who we’d talked to, what we’d accomplished.
Then Grace was born, and it was like everything stopped for me. I was on a new planet where there were no other humans — at least nobody who could talk.
Being a “people person,” I started singing and talking to her almost constantly just to hear the sound of someone’s voice. Practically overnight, my life became unrecognizable to me.
It was a rude awakening. Everything was about the baby, as it should have been, but I wasn’t quite prepared for my whole world and timeline to revolve around this little human. Even a simple thing like when to take a shower or run to the grocery store had to be carefully timed. If she fell asleep in the car, it could throw us off course for hours.
I deeply loved her and felt so grateful to be her mom, and at the same time, I had never felt so alone. I wondered if my education and my career and everything I’d worked for were meaningless. I felt like I was losing a part of myself because I wasn’t sharing myself with anyone. It was just me and my baby, cut off from the world.
I couldn’t help but wonder if this motherhood thing was going to be enough.
Even now, with a big family and the joy they bring me, a snide little voice in my head sometimes says, This job is so beneath you. When this attitude starts to get its claws into me, I recall how Jesus washed His disciples’ stinky feet.
Can you imagine how horrifying that must have been for those disciples — to have the God of the universe pick up their stinky feet and start washing them? The Bible doesn’t describe their feet, but I feel sure those guys hadn’t just come from getting pedicures!
At first, Peter objected to having the Son of God stoop to such a menial task, but Jesus turned it around. He said, “If I then … have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you” (John 13:14-15, ESV).
Jesus always turns things upside down, doesn’t He?
When I’m up late with one of the kids or one has a fever and I’m cleaning up vomit from the floor, frantically sanitizing everything to avoid an outbreak — I remember Jesus’ model of servanthood.
He has a way of making a proud girl humble.
God, give me my manna for the day. Nothing more and nothing less. Give me a servant’s heart to use what I have to minister to others in Your name. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
OUR FAVORITE THINGS
Kirsten Watson offers overwhelmed women the encouragement, truth and practical “life hacks” they desperately need to live and love well in today’s frantic world in her new book, Sis, Take a Breath: Encouragement for the Woman Who’s Trying to Live and Love Well (but Secretly Just Wants to Take a Nap).
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FOR DEEPER STUDY
Luke 22:27, “For who is the greater, one who reclines at table or one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at table? But I am among you as the one who serves.”(ESV)
If you have children, what have they taught you about humility — and more importantly, how are you teaching them about serving others? What is Jesus’ humility teaching you today? Let us know in the comments!
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Proverbs 31 Ministries
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Matthews, NC 28106