Yesterday was one of those emotional days. I don’t really enjoy those days. They are rather difficult, filled with tears that just keep on coming, battles with feeling overwhelmed and anxious, and a desire to go sit in a corner in the fetal position until the day is over. They are days where I am hit hard with the fact that I am a selfish being who, much too often, wants my way and wants it right then. They are days where I see how deeply-rooted my pride is, leading me to believe that I deserve something that I’m not getting – time, rest, quiet. They are days where I see so clearly how my selfishness and my pride affects the ones I love the most and it breaks my heart to see that.
On such days I see in myself a battle waging of who I am going to love most. Myself? Or the Lord, my husband, my daughter, and all other people. I hear my flesh calling out for it’s “rights” to have quiet time, to not be asked for anything, to not make dinner, to do whatever I want to do when I want to do it, to serve myself. In the same breath, I hear my heart crying out “no! It’s not about you and your “rights”! It’s about Jesus.” And in being about Jesus it’s about serving Him in the two greatest ways He has called me to – as a wife and a mom. That battle is so hard. And even though somedays it is harder and more clearly seen than others, it is always there and it must be fought. As Jean Fleming writes in A Mother’s Heart , “Each day we have numerous opportunities to live for others and not ourselves.” Numerous opportunities. EACH day. I can’t fight it once and expect to never fight it again. There will be another, possibly harder battle coming down the pipes. I don’t say this to be discouraging, I say this to be real. This life isn’t easy and we cannot expect it to be so. Each day we are fighting to be rid of ourselves and be more like Jesus. That’s the truth of it.
But, thankfully, we aren’t fighting the battle alone. We have the perfect example of sacrificial, unselfish love and service. In that same chapter in A Mother’s Heart, Jean Fleming writes, ” Jesus did not focus His mind and efforts on Himself. Instead, He emptied Himself of all privileges and rights. Christian mothers must pattern their lives after His example – the supreme example of the loving servant.” We see that written in Philippians 2:5-8, “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” The supreme example is our’s to look at, and PRAISE GOD, is our’s in Christ Jesus! We can be like Him, because of Him. We can love and serve as He did because, if we are His, He lives in us and is working in us to make us more like Him.
So, on those emotional days when every question, request, or task feels like a violation of our “rights”, let’s look at Jesus. Let’s pray that He will rid ourselves of ourselves and seek, along with Him, to become more like Him. Let’s get up out of the fetal position and quote 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, reminding ourselves that biblically loving our spouse, our children, and whoever else, means we love them a whole lot more than when it is just easy for us. God loved us so much that He sent His ONLY Son to DIE for us. That wasn’t so easy, was it?
“We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19