A few weeks back a friend and I were going for a stroll to the park with kids in tow. The conversation turned to her new found appreciation for all that her parents did for her when she was growing up, now that she is pouring into her two wee boys. She asked me some questions that led me to think of when I was thirteen and we moved back from the tropics of Indonesia to the chill of Matamata morning frosts. I went from being an early riser, around 4am, and jumping out of bed with ease to struggling to want to get up AFTER 7am to get dressed, have breakfast and head to school. Always pushing it!
My mum would come in and turn the heater on before we needed to rise. Then head to the kitchen to get our packed lunch ready, before coming back down the hall to give us a few minutes warning it was nearing the dreaded time to get out of our snuggly warm beds and into the day. Off she would head to the kitchen again to get us breakfast before again coming down the hall to tell us it was absolutely time to get up now. We would draw the covers back to be met with toasty warm air, our uniforms nicely ready by the heater to have them easier to get into. Then off down the hall we went to eat our warm breakfast and then head off to school.
Or my dad, with the winter chills being new to us I would get knocked with some bug and he would leave the office to sneak me in my fav chicken fried rice. Along with treats that I loved…minties and pineapple lumps . Time and money were a factor and he knew there would be that look of disapproval from my mum if he got caught. But that didn’t stop him from brightening up my gloomy day as I chilled at home in bed. Missing out on the fun of seeing friends at school. And not being able to watch tv in the lounge as it was day time trash.
I hate to think how under appreciated they felt because now as I reflect on that there was great effort on their part, even sacrifice for our ease. But did it get noticed? Was there appreciation? Any reciprocal efforts? Sadly I doubt it.
Pondering on what parents do for their own and what goes unnoticed I think of us with God. We go through seasons where it’s not comfortable, we aren’t getting our way, the big things in life just feel too much and all that understandably weighs on one. In that space though so much can go unnoticed. God’s hand at work in the smaller ways, and even the unseen bigger ways just doesn’t factor in.
God does tend to us!
God does love us!
God is at work in the seen and unseen for us!
God is working things together for your good!
God is tenderly and purposefully going to bat for you!
God is extravagantly seeing to it that you are known and grown!
Where could you be missing the reality in what is unnoticed? As we pine and even whine things get missed that would be a welcomed balm to our soul, the encouragement to our heart and the help to our lives. As an awareness comes that feeling of being abandoned, unloved, unwanted, hard done by lifts and you begin to see just how fiercely you are tended to.
At the moment in the study of John we are doing at the in depth bible study I go to the disciples are being prepared for what is unfolding with the cross and Jesus return to God. Their eyes are on one thing, while Jesus is working at tilting it to another. Jesus wants them to see just what reality is set before them. To be prepared for what is coming. But in human tendencies it’s getting side lined. That is easily the case for us too.
If we will lock in on just what God is tending to and unfolding in the small and big ways for us our shift will bring a different reality and experience. The unnoticed things will mean so much and the promises of the bible will come to life.
I’m one who use to be in the group of feeling the bible wasn’t relevant and was a chore. But oh how that changed in 2011 when a hard time saw me seeking. All of a sudden it was a life line, a love letter, a guide.
I think of the year we studied Revelation or even Leviticus where many saw a different picture than I did. For me in Revelation I saw it as a beautiful and tender love letter for us. With Leviticus instead of the rituals and regulations I saw the all encompassing ways of God. To value our health and enjoyment of life enough to speak of mould and cleaning.
So today I want to encourage you to pick up the bible in a new way! And to start noticing just how much God is doing in you and for you!
In any season there is something to take note of, to enjoy and appreciate.