Jesus Cleaned Up a Mess He Didn't Make, Too
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Jesus Cleaned Up a Mess He Didn’t Make, Too

Jesus Cleaned Up a Mess He Didn’t Make, Too – Do you need to learn to be a student of your Savior? One who goes to Him in her time of need and gets the grace she needs for this moment? The moment when all she can see is the cross instead of the empty grave just beyond the hill? Then this post is for you!

I’m currently reading through the Gospel of Mark in my regular Bible reading time. As a stay at home mom of small children, I can often relate to Jesus’ ministry here on earth.

Jesus Cleaned Up a Mess He Didn't Make, Too - Do you need to learn to be a student of your Savior? One who goes to Him in her time of need and gets the grace she needs for this moment, this moment when she is tempted to despair? The moment when all she can see is the cross instead of the empty grave just beyond the hill? Then this post is for you!

His sleep was interrupted, His prayer life was always in the middle of the night or after a particularly exhausting work of ministry, and people constantly wanted to touch him, sucking from Him the miracle needed to heal them and comfort them. He was regularly teaching, often repeating Himself over and over again to a set of followers who continually hardened their hearts against Him. Always giving and rarely taking even a morsel of bread for His own physical needs.

It was thankless work that ended in physical death.

The Gospel of Mark and the life of Jesus has been both discouraging and encouraging for me as I read through it in this particular season of my life. I mean, Jesus was crucified for Pete’s sake. Do I really want Him to be the one most able to relate to the job I do?

Sometimes I don’t. Because the truth is, at my core, I don’t want to be that dependent on the Father. I don’t want to sacrifice constantly, gaining nothing in return. I don’t want to be touched all the time, always meeting other people’s needs, and never getting a moment alone to care for my own basic physical needs.

I want to talk to people who understand me, or who can at least sing the alphabet in completeness without my help. I want to plump the pillows on my couch and have them look pretty all day and not scattered across the room as fighting toys and tantrum throwers. I want to go to church for once and actually hear the sermon or make a hair appointment, any appointment, without juggling nap times and snack times and bed times and grouchy times.

And that’s where the rubber meets the road.

That’s the grind for me – and maybe for you, too.

The flesh and spirit at battle. Knowing my Savior understands and knowing that His life was hard and filled with suffering because of His great love for me. To follow Him into suffering is something altogether unattractive. To follow Him into obedience to the Father’s will is hard.

The mundane can overwhelm. Learning to walk without fainting in the season of young children is difficult when I would rather be doing anything but washing dishes yet again or changing another diaper. But when I choose to follow Jesus, I choose, by the grace of God, to pick up my cross and live as He lived.

“And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. And Simon and those who were with him searched for him, and they found him and said to him, “Everyone is looking for you.” And he said to them, “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.” And he went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons. ~Mark 1:35-39

I must become a student of my Savior

A student who is not above her teacher when I do the daily work of kneeling at the foot of the cross in prayer for my day.

One who by grace becomes like her teacher with each daily work of faithfulness to His call on her life.

One who decreases so that He may increase.

One who goes to Him in her time of need and gets the grace she needs for this moment, this moment when she is tempted to despair. This moment when all she can see is the cross instead of the empty grave just beyond the hill.

Spiritual warfare is real.

Perhaps it’s never more real in a woman’s life than when she’s bearing children. Nurturing life in the face of death isn’t easy. It’s certainly not glorious or medal earning. It’s hard work. When I’m tired and at my end, I’m tempted to find another source of strength. But just as Jesus’ story doesn’t end at the cross, neither does mine.

I need the perspective of my Father.

When I go to God in prayer, sometimes I feel like I ask and receive nothing in return. But I think it’s because I hope to see my circumstances change, some of the physical load lifted, or just an hour or two of uninterrupted sleep or a five minute stretch of quiet in the day. Like this is what I truly need to make me feel happy or better about my life.

The Pharisees came and began to argue with him, seeking from him a sign from heaven to test him. And he sighed deeply in his spirit and said, “Why does this generation seek a sign? Truly, I say to you, no sign will be given to this generation.” And he left them, got into the boat again, and went to the other side. ~Mark 8:11-13

I look for circumstantial evidence just as the Pharisees did when Jesus was teaching among them. They wanted signs and wonders. So do I. I don’t want faithfulness and obedience. I want comfort and ease.

Jesus cleaned up a mess that He didn’t make.

As a mom of young children, I often feel like I’m doing the same. Yet the truth is Jesus did it with compassion and for the joy set before Him. He did it with love unconditional. He worked with eternity in mind. Can the same be said for my daily work of ministry in my home?

It’s not inherently wrong to desire quiet and rest, or for couch cushions to just.stay.put. But when it becomes the idol of my heart, disrupting the relationships of my family, the thing I desire above all else, then it becomes a matter of a heart of worship. Worship of an idol. And the only cure for my rebellious heart is repentance.

I am before thee in my trespasses and sins,
     have mercy on me,
     and may thy goodness bring me to repentance.

Sanctify and prosper my domestic devotion,
     instruction, discipline, example,
     that my house may be a nursery for heaven,
          my church the garden of the Lord,
                enriched with trees of righteousness of thy planting,
                    for thy glory.

(Excerpts taken from The Family in The Valley of Vision)

Reflection Questions:

  1. Where in your life are you seeking comfort and ease over faithfulness and obedience?
  2. What truths can you cling to as you’re tempted to abandon God’s way during this time in your life?
  3. Read Isaiah 40:27-31 and ask the Lord to help you to walk without fainting in the daily disciplines of life lived for Him.

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13 Comments

    1. So, I’m a few days late reading this, but it was so on time! It may sound selfish, but I was relieved to know I wasn’t alone. You described exactly what I’m going through & even the thing with the pillows. In my head I was screaming Yessss in agreement as I look at mine scattered about the floor! Very helpful read!!!!

  1. Oh Leigh Ann. This is so good. How many of us need these words and to be reminded of Christ’s life and ministry. I am praising my Savior and praying that I will not ask for an easier path than my Master.
    So glad you’re writing again. Thank you for sharing what He is teaching you.

  2. You are reading my mail lol. Although my children are grown ( one daughter still at home) I would struggle to find my quiet time with Jesus. For a year now I get up at 2:30 am and generally I’m will be in to studies and then read through the Bible. My miracle is I’m a much better wife, mother, employee and as a counselor I do my work ( which gratefully is usually like a day at Disneyland) with more faith and allow God to work through me. I believe I have a greater impact on my clients. I recognize how blessed I am. You made a comment that said and I quote ” for Pete’s sake” my thought was we could all put our name in the place of Pete. God did this for all our sake.

  3. Beautifully written! What a great reminder to me as a mom. I know you mentioned a few times about the hard transition from 2 to 3 kids. I’m expecting my 3rd in November, and my other two are 5 years old and 2 years old. Do you have any suggestions for making the transition easier? I feel like my 2 year old is still very dependent on me, and that it will be a hard adjustment for him. Thank you!

  4. I needed to hear this today. The baby/toddler season is tough, and it is always reassuring to hear others are struggling too and it is not just me. But it is also good for me to be convicted and hear these challenging words for the time I am in right now. I am highly introverted and my body will probably never fully recover after chemotherapy 6 years ago, so I find parenting extremely tiring. But I think I occasionally use the tiredness as an excuse for sloppy parenting and laziness, and it is so wonderful to hear the comparison you make with Jesus’ life – I had never thought of it that way and it is refreshing to hear that He went through all of this, too, and He dealt with it beautifully and joyfully.
    Thank you Leigh Ann, these words went right to my heart.

  5. “Where in your life are you seeking comfort and ease over faithfulness and obedience?”
    That’s such a good question, Leigh Ann. There’s nothing wrong with comfort and ease, or even seeking it, except when it comes at the expense of things that are more important. God knows what the priorities are (thankfully) but they can be uncomfortable at times.
    God has a loving, tender heart. I think He longs to give us comfort (He doesn’t like pain, difficulty, and sorrow–He died to save us from it and restore us to eternal bliss) and I think He would give us more sometimes, even in this world, if He could trust us with it. He knows, however, that it is more important that we trust Him and be conformed to the image of His son (Romans 8:29). He also “gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace” (Psalm 29:11). I think if you are willing to be obedient and faithful, that you can claim this as a promise, as we all can.

  6. Hi, that was so incredibly beautiful. And it came at just the right time for me. I needed this message deeply. I wonder if it would be ok for me to read this post out loud in a live feed video for my mom friends to hear and chat with me about it? I think it would do so much good for their hearts as well. ? Thank you for considering it! I look forward to hearing back.
    -Cesilea

    1. Yes, Cecilea! Please read with your mom friends. Just be sure to give credit to Leigh Ann at Intentional by Grace and even send them a link if needed. Thanks so much for sharing! This is one of my favorite posts as well 🙂 Blessings to you!