Last week was difficult. One of our boys had a stomach virus and then the other one did. The youngest was teething tiny baby tooth #5 and wanted to be in my arms all of the time, literally. Michael and I missed out on a potential date night. I was sleep deprived, stretched thin, verging on hopeless. And it was like, one thousand degrees of Southern humidity all week with no respite.
My legs would travel from room to room, hands would wipe down a counter, arms move to dump another load of laundry in to the machine. My eyes burned from weariness. All of my strength was spent in keeping the ship on course, keeping the rhythm of our days steady. Yet my heart and mind were struggling to stay afloat. A prayer would rise to my lips, simple and desperate, “Lord help me.”
Even while our circumstances were uncomfortable (because I have to acknowledge that my hardships are actually very common and nothing compared to the battles that some mothers are facing today), this perticular word kept finding its way to me:
S T E A D F A S T
It would come up in conversation, come through my current readings, even pop up on Twitter. It was hovering over my heart and mind. The Spirit of God was whispering to me and I was being challenged to pay attention, to meditate on his truth, even while my body ached and my emotions were all over the place.
Lamentations 3:22-23 declares, “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”
How good is the Lord that he remembers our frailty? He knows how we are made, that we are mere dust, and would need a reminder of his faithful love in the midst of our lament-filled daily life. Psalm 136 give us a better song to sing when our mouths are full of complaint. The scripture is full of stories that point to the enduring, unshakable, steadfast love of the Father; He is the One who isn’t afraid of my weakness but makes himself known through it.
My responsibility in this is simply to remain in his love, to remember it, to keep my heart open and soft, and to embrace the work of his Spirit within me by reflecting even a small portion of this characteristic. Paul writes to the Corinthians, urging them in love, “Therefore, my dear brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the Lord’s work, knowing that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” (1 Cor. 15:58) Your labor might look different from mine, yet we are exhorted to remain steadfast. To not give up. To keep going forward, remaining devoted to the people and the vocation that we’ve been given stewardship of, believing that God’s refining work is being brought out in us. On some days, on the hard days, running the race faithfully might merely mean not giving up.