“He talked about Jesus and ate bugs. But he didn’t baptize anybody. We didn’t get to that part yet.”
The sweet and simple response from my 4 year year old when asked what he learned in church last Sunday.
And it was one of those moments when I felt like God was flashing a yellow light in front of me…
Slow down, Meg, and pay attention. I’m gonna need to stop you in your tracks for a moment.
And I knew it. I’ve been studying through the book of John and had just myself been reading about ol’ John the Baptist. And I knew this wasn’t a coincidence. More like a reminder that I needed to pay attention to what John was eating…and have some myself.
I find this happens to me often. Shortly after writing a blog or teaching a class or singing a song or having a chat, the Enemy slithers in to question my heart. Without much warning and usually without realizing what’s going on, I find myself reeling. Just as with Eve in the Garden, that cunning snake starts shooting his fiery darts at my mind…
Did you really mean what you said?
It’s not so easy now, is it?
You deserve better than this. Just throw up your hands and demand your own way.
That very Sunday had been a busy and fulfilling one…
I had shared from the Word, echoing David’s prayer in Psalm 16 and confessed through the song “Already All I Need” that God was, in fact, already all I needed.
Adam and I had met with a couple for premarital counseling and talked through biblical roles in marriage. I confessed of the fulfillment that comes from being Adam’s helper and partner…and the joy that comes from seeing my husband elevated.
We had had a fun evening at our house hanging out with some of our young adults. As the conversation with some of the girls turned toward being a mom, I had confessed that years ago I came to a point where I felt like my job and ministry weren’t really enough and that something was missing…I desperately wanted to be a mother.
And then Monday morning came. And my confessions seemed a bit weaker and my purpose a little less clear.
The reality and nitty gritty of being a stay-at-home mom again set in. My sweet children awoke with demands that met me before I even lifted my head from the pillow. My house demanded a cleaning to recover from a full day of ministry the day prior. The laundry baskets were full. The mailbox, email inbox, and Facebook notifications were empty. And I was craving some kind of affirmation that what I did mattered. That I mattered.
My silly selfishness only escalated as my husband innocently shared about an encouraging lunch meeting that he had…and complementing phone calls he received…and affirming input that he had been given (and really needed) that day.
And my heart sank and my spirit floundered…
Not very often does the pastor’s wife get a thank you.
Being a stay-at-home mom doesn’t get you a pay check or always leave you feeling attractive or valuable.
Quietly serving and ministering to others behind closed doors escapes applause and accolades.
I was in a lonely spot…greedy for a pat on the back. And on a dangerous, slippery slope that could easily lead toward resentment. And the culprit? My own ugly pride.
And then I remembered the humble, hairy man that wore camel skin and ate locusts and…
prepared the way for…his own ministry?
proclaimed how important and valuable and worthy…he was?
promoted and elevated and glorified…himself?
No. Quite the contrary, in fact. And in that moment, my selfish heart didn’t look much like John’s.
I went back to John 1 and I highlighted his words…the voice crying out…
I am not the Christ (vs. 20).
Among you stands One…the strap of Whose sandal I am not worthy to untie (vs. 27).
For this purpose I came…that He might be revealed.. (vs. 31).
Some first nibbles of my humble pie. And then came some more bites…
“John claims honor not for himself but for Christ. To exalt Christ was his mission and to that mission he steadfastly adheres…
If we profess to have any real Christianity…let us study humility…This is the grace, above all, which will appear most beautiful in our latter end…
Our whole lives will then appear a long catalogue of imperfections, ourselves nothing, and Christ ALL.” – J.C. Ryle
All I’m living for.
All I’m working for.
All I’m striving for.
Already all I need.
In a social media world of likes, comments, and instant feedback, have I grown even more accustomed to praise and affirmation? And the false notion that life is really all about me?
My Father gently brought the words of the song I had just sung full circle…
Are you really letting Me be all you need?
All of the affirmation that I had been craving was written down for me in His Word. There I find that I am valuable, beautiful, and treasured. Unfortunately, at the same time, it’s also there that I’m reminded that it’s not at all about exalting Megan.
In my struggle, if I’m honest with myself, there are moments when I really do want to make much of Christ…but I’d at least like my name in the footnotes. Like a billboard that proclaims Jesus…but includes me in the tagline.
And if I keep chasing after that, I’ll never be truly satisfied…because I’d be missing the purpose I was created to fulfill. That He might be revealed.
Once again, my definition of “good” is refined a bit…
“I say to the Lord, ‘You are my Lord; I have no good apart from You.'” (Psalm 16:2)
and what I truly need is a little more defined…
“The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup.” (Psalm 16:5)
Not providing all I desire or supplying all I require or delivering something to inspire.
He, IS, Himself, already all I need.
Affirmation? He is my portion.
Comfort? He is my portion.
Purpose? He is my portion.
Joy? He is my portion.
Direction? He is my portion.
Fulfillment? He is my portion.
And I desperately want to be a voice that screams loudly of Him.
“You make known to me the path of life; and in Your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
– Psalm 16:11
This is Your love, oh, God
Not to make much of me
But to send Your own Son
So that we could make much of You
For all eternity
– Steven Curtis Chapman (“Much of You”)