It’s 10:30am and I sink into the chair, grab my ESV study Bible, and check my reading plan. I find Isaiah 17 and read the first verse. I hear grunting, followed by sounds of protest as my son Isaiah wriggles himself onto the folding chair. I bring him a few books to look at while he’s at the table. I sit back down and reread the first verse, moving on to the second.
“Up, up!” I hear as Isaiah tries to get down from the chair, (of course he should be able to use the same word to mean “up” and “down,” right?) I help him down from the chair and he toddles into his room. I read a few more verses and hear a strange crash. I spend a few seconds trying to keep reading while simultaneously deciding whether to go check it out. I go back and see him sitting in a pile of Daddy’s board game pieces. I pray about whether to discipline him.
Closing the door to his room, I ask him to go find his ball. He gets distracted along the way with some other toys, and I rush back to finish my reading. As I try to concentrate on the last few verses, he comes over and tries to shut my Bible. I try not to get angry. A few years ago, I certainly didn’t picture spiritual warfare as a little person physically trying to keep me from reading the words on the page.
What does it look like to live a constantly interrupted life for God? When every household task seems to be half done, including putting on a pair of socks? When there are people to call and errands to run, and a husband to welcome home after work?
1I recently talked with a friend from college who became a new mama a few months ago. She asked about how devotional life has changed since having a baby. The word that leaped into my mind was “fragmented.” We reminisced past days of silently reading our Bibles when other interruptions could be ignored. But then she pointed me to 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 where it says, “16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
I used to think that my pre-baby devotional life would always be looked back on as “better.” But the Spirit is showing me that this season is bringing these verses to life.
Rejoice always. . . when the toys are dumped out right before the company comes.
Pray without ceasing. . . even if I have to take a break to look my son in the eyes and moo with him.
Give thanks in all circumstances. . . when the prayer for him to sleep in a little more isn’t granted.
For this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. . . to let my little boy hear my broken, sometimes half-finished prayers whispered throughout the day, (and trying to sprinkle in plenty of tickle breaks.)
But maybe it feels like just one more thing to remember.
On those days, I can ask the Spirit to help me:
Thank him for one thing, even if I don’t feel like rejoicing.
Tell Him I feel discouraged and ask Him to help my unbelief.
Confess that I’m not happy with my circumstances, but speaking a word of truth to myself.
For this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you–to accept His grace as His child and trust the Spirit to intercede on our behalf when we just can’t. (see Romans 8:26-27)
Let’s take moments to forget about everything that’s half-finished, and remember what has been finished–Christ’s death on the cross and resurrection for our sins so that we can live in relationship with Him today and forever.
What’s one way the Spirit has helped you to pray? I’d love to hear. You can click on “leave a comment” at the top of the post.