How often do I say that to my kids? More than I would really like to admit. I try to say it nicely to justify my selfishness, and it’s not a BAD thing for me to want to be alone occasionally.
But what is my heart?
I need me time. I am tired of you asking me questions that I don’t know the answer to (like, “mom, why is this book blue?!”). I feel overwhelmed and want to shut down in my personal cocoon. I have taken care of you all day and now that the littlest is asleep I deserve a few moment of uninterrupted reading or computer time! It’s about me, I am putting myself at the center of my world. I know it’s wrong, but I do it a lot.
This morning I read in Matthew.
Now when Jesus heard this (about the death of John the Baptist), he withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, and healed their sick.
When Jesus walked this earth, he struggled as a human struggles. He felt tired. He felt pain. He felt rejection. He felt sadness. It actually says that he has suffered everything we suffer, yet he was without sin. When I read this this morning, I was awfully convicted. Because I may or may not have told the kids to “leave me alone” just yesterday…. Jesus heard of the death of his cousin and friend, he was in mourning! He just wanted to get away for a little while. He went to a desolate place. And they followed him. Like my daughter still follows me into the bathroom, even though she turns 6 today! Like my 2 year old follows me to the kitchen and wants to be held, just at the moment I want to sit down and enjoy my cup of tea.
And you know what he did? He had compassion on them. In the Greek it says he was moved with compassion and had pity on them, so that he healed, cared for, attended, served, the weak and ill among them. Wow.
God, I am so far from your heart. Please, make me more like you.
Praise God, he never gives up on us. He sees all our deficiencies and he has compassion on us. He promises to make us more holy, and he always keeps his promises. He doesn’t leave us in our helpless state, he doesn’t leave us in our sin, he graciously and firmly leads us to where we need to go. It’s called sanctification, and although it’s a difficult journey,
(pause to go to George who’s fussing for me, then realize he has his second poopy diaper of the morning, wonder if he’s feeling okay after throwing up two nights ago, make him happy, realize the laundry is done, start a new load, let the toddler help, tell him not to throw a fit because we can’t put another scoop of soap in, put him in timeout for throwing a temper tantrum, and quickly finish up this blog post)
I have to run! Duty calls! But by God’s grace I will have compassion on those who are demanding my time, even when I feel completely empty and unable to give anything of myself. God is good, people.