I thank God that in His manifold wisdom and infinite creativity and His thorough knowledge of His creatures, He has given us multiple things to motivate us into pursuing His glory, growing in holiness, and being diligent and faithful in the various things that He has given us to do.
Now, I didn’t always understand that. And for years I felt that if honoring and glorifying God weren’t your sole motivation for what you did every day, you were wrong and needed to get your heart and mind right before the Lord. But I read a book a few years ago entitled The Hole in Our Holiness by Kevin DeYoung, and right in the middle of the book, I found myself floored! God actually gives us lots of things to motivate us to pursue holiness. Now, not all of those motivations sound pious to the ears when you start reading the list, but the longer you think on it, the more you realize that God does know us very well and gives us everything we need (including a variety of motivations) to spur us on.
That being said, I’ve needed some real motivation this week (I just realized it’s only Tuesday….sobbing now). My weekend was busy, and I didn’t sleep well. And my daughter starts school late next week, and I am about to become that mom who has to do the drop off/pick up every day. To tell you the truth, I think that some moms are made for homeschool simply because they have a hard time getting up early in the morning, and I’m not ashamed to say this: I am that mom.
But you know what? It doesn’t even matter. My daughter is going to school this year. It may be for just this year, but I need a mental health break. And having a child with special needs (especially when you can’t get a clear answer on what those needs are…sorry, private frustration there) can wear down even the most stout-hearted mom over time. But the break comes at a cost…6 am wake-ups.
So I started yesterday. I managed to turn my alarm off and lay in the dark without falling back asleep until 7:15 when I finally put my glasses on. It was awful. I was yawning all day and trying not to be irritable with my girls at every turn. When my husband came home, he asked me how the day went. I just shook my head and told him it was a struggle. How in the world does he do this day in and day out? He told me that if I remembered (the key word here), it was never his preference to be up that early (he’s up at 5 am). No, it was a compromise. He works better in the evenings, but we have small children who go to bed in the evenings. And if he is going to spend any time with the family, he needed to get things done earlier. So that’s what he did.
Now, I remembered after he mentioned it. And I thought about that for a while. So I told him my goal today was to actually move after my alarm went off. I want you to know, I did meet my goal this morning, but the struggle was still real today! I tried to get on my knees and pray, but I was too scared to spend more than a few minutes because I knew I was going to fall asleep. So I mentally rehearsed all of things that I remind myself of normally throughout the day (we should do all things as unto the Lord, I want to please God in everything I do today, I should do this with diligence, a good servant is faithful and diligent even over the smallest things, and so on). And just when I was about to give myself a pass and call it quits for the day, the Lord sent me another motivation:
I thought about that man I married, and I know even right now he is plowing away in his office. But I thought about his crazy 60+ work hours a week and how he’s always diligent. I thought about how he doesn’t slack off….like ever, much to my annoyance at times. But I also thought about what I would say and think if he did start slacking off. I mean, if he just didn’t feel like doing anything at various points in time I would really start to have a problem with it. And I would have an even bigger problem with it if it were reflected in his paycheck….or lack thereof. Now, don’t get me wrong, I do encourage him to take a day off when he needs it, and I’m even learning that I need to take a day off sometimes too. But taking a break or a day off means that you are putting in consistent, diligent effort on all those other days (minus the Sabbath, of course). And the one thing my husband doesn’t lack is diligence when it comes to work!
So as I thought about him, I just whispered to the Lord to grant me strength, and I got up and completed my work. And when I finished, I thanked God for my husband and all that he does and for bringing him to mind as a motivation for me today. Truly, with every temptation, He does provide a way for escape. And that temptation to curl up on my bed and dismiss my housework today (along with yesterday, and I suppose I should expect this tomorrow as well) has been REAL! But we serve a good God. A faithful God. He is a loving Father who cares for us and gives us all things that we need. And He also gives us all of the motivations that we need to live rightly before Him and bring Him glory each day………..…just in case you didn’t know.