I haven’t blogged for a while. A 4 month while to be exact. Since my last post we’ve added another member to our family and have begun a major ministry/life transition, both of which I would love to blog about soon…
But this new season of life has kept my hands pretty busy and while I have a few extra minutes today, this is the post I felt God most pressing on my heart to leave my finger tips…
Jack Nathanael Johnson entered our lives 2 1/2 months ago. He has been such a joy. Like a real joy. I know people say that when they have babies…but I really, really mean it. This tiny package of a gift came as such a sweet reminder of God’s grace, goodness, and provision in our lives. We needed him more than we realized!
Our sweet and smiley little joy boy sleeps beautifully (for the most part) at night. But during the day he’ll often fight sleep and only naps for usually 30 or 40 minutes at a clip, which right now seems to be all he needs.
This kid doesn’t want to miss anything. He’s been bright eyed and nosey since birth. Even as a tiny newborn we started calling him “ol’ one-eyed Jack” because of how hard he tried to keep at least one eye open as he drifted off to sleep. He also desperately wants to find his thumb (and usually despises the pacifier), so a fight usually ensues between his little fists, fingers, and mouth.
A few evenings ago, I put him in his swing for a nap while we got the big boys ready for bed. Even though he typically would be soothed by the rocking and easily drift off to sleep, that evening he fought…and he fought hard. As I sat and watched him battle his eye lids closing, I sat still long enough to listen to the Holy Spirit as it was one of those moments when I knew He had something for me. When I’d watch my other boys fight sleep, I would often correlate it to how quick I can be to fight rest. How I can rush and work and forget to place my cares in the hands of the only One who can handle it all. But that night it was different.
“Megan, do you realize why he’s fighting sleep? He’s fighting sleep because he just wants to be with you.”
It was true. My nosey boy doesn’t want to drift off to sleep because he’d much rather prefer the pleasure of my company. He desires to stay in my arms. He wants to gaze at my face. He longs to hear my voice. He just loves being in my presence.
“Megan, are you like that with Me? Will you fight to spend time with Me? Will you even forfeit sleep to be in My presence?”
“My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises.” – Psalm 119:48
In this season of life, my days are FULL. Between a house to take care of, a baby to nurse every 2 hours, a toddler to chase after, and a 1st grader to disciple, there aren’t many “free” moments and I am straight up tired. But when I DO get a free second, where do I run? What am I making time for?
When I sit to nurse my baby, do I browse Facebook on my phone or read a book that fixes my eyes on my Savior?
When I go for a walk, do selfish and anxious or selfless and thankful thoughts consume my mind?
When I discipline, feed, or play with my children, are my words seasoned with impatience and temporal things or grace and Truth?
When I work, do idolize approval and praise or do it out of love and gratitude for what and Who I’ve been given?
When making decisions for my day or for the future, do I trust in the illusion of my control or the Sovereignty of my Father?
When my husband comes home, do our conversations and actions reflect hearts that want to glorify self or our Maker?
When I have an opportunity for rest, do I run to the couch with a pillow or with my Bible?
Does the incomparable beauty of Christ captivate me throughout the day and draw me in to constant conversation with Him?
Sure, naps and mindless Facebook browsing are NOT wrong. Sometimes, one may even argue, that they’re straight up essential for sanity during a stay-at-home mama’s day. But are they keeping me from fighting to be in His presence? To see His face and hear His voice? What is captivating me most? Am I fighting to worship the right things?
Paul Tripp has defined worship as “an ongoing CAPTIVATION of the heart that overflows into your life to produce desire, word, and deed”. Am I so captivated by my Father that my heart overflows and fights to stay near Him?
In the book of Hosea, God uses Hosea’s marriage to the adulterous Gomer to show His faithfulness to His unfaithful people. Their hearts, like ours, were prone to wander. Prone to set their affections on other things. Prone to stop fighting and instead rest into a spiritual slumber. Prone to chase after the wind.
“For they sow the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind.” – Hosea 8:7
But like with Israel, this merciful God pursues me. Woos me back from my other lovers. Reminds me that I am His and He IS better.
“Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her.” – Hosea 2:14
Do I long to know the One that is worthy of my worship and affection? The only One that will truly satisfy my heart?
“Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord…” – Hosea 6:3a
And if I long for His presence and fight to set my affections on Him alone?
“…His going out is as sure as the dawn; He will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth.” – Hosea 6:3
He remains faithful and promises to come near. Frankly, He remains the same whether I am faithful or not.
I remain fickle. He remains good.
Christ’s blood has paid my ransom. The work is done. I don’t have to fight to earn it. I can rest and dwell in the Father’s presence approved and unashamed. But then why would I not chase after this God with every ounce of my being?!
If I fight, let me fight to know Him. To be captivated by Him alone.
This morning before school I called Isaiah to come into the living room to do his devotions. He wanted to watch “Wild Kratts” instead.
“So silly“, I thought. “Don’t argue with me,” I thought. “What’s most important?“, I thought.
But then I remembered my own adulterous heart, and challenged my first born to taste HIs goodness with me and fight to continue drinking of it.
So we fought to put aside distractions. To drink deeply of His grace. And we rested in His presence.
And with tiny folded hands, our little Jack did, too.
“Captivate us, Lord Jesus
Set our eyes on You
Devastate us with Your presence falling down
Rushing river draw us nearer
Holy Fountain consume us with You
Captivate us, Lord Jesus
– from Watermark’s “Captivate Us”