~ Choose the Good Portion – Week Three ~
And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching.
~ Luke 10:39 ~
I had originally planned to share this week’s topic next week but today happened and God said, “This is what I want you to share this week.” God does that sometimes. He looks at our well thought out plans and our ideas for what seems like the right thing and says, “You know what, try it this way instead.”
And that’s just what He did today. Today is Thursday, January 17th. Today is my daughter’s ninth birthday party. And oh, the grand plans I had for today! Plans…that’s laughable! So many of my “plans” have fallen apart due to life happening, kind of like it did today.
But let’s start at the beginning and give you the short version of my morning…
I woke up with the plan to walk out my daily routine which is to head downstairs to sit with my coffee, Bible and Jesus. However, I was greeted by a mess because my dog decided to throw a party, with herself as the only guest. She had consumed my daughter’s candy and chips that were in her open backpack on the floor. The result of her midnight party…huge mess on my living room floor.
Mess cleaned, no quiet time. I woke the kids to discover that a temperature and sore throat would be keeping my son at home today. A sick kid laying on my couch needing my attention was not part of my “get ready for a birthday party” plan.
Cut to the point…by the time I got back home from dropping my healthy kids off at school I was pretty full up on distraction and anxiety, thinking of all l I needed to do. I had let that become my portion for the day and had given up on my plan of sitting quietly with Jesus until I felt Him say, “Just go sit in the living room.”
I was going to bypass my living room for just a moment to grab my Bible because I thought God wanted me to sit and read it, in what is typical quiet time fashion. When I reached the stairs something in my peripheral caught my eye. It was the form of my sick boy who had woken for the day and was now snuggling our midnight party dog on the couch. God said, “Go sit with him.”
And I did. I laid down next to him, wrapped my arms around his body, warm with sickness, and oh the sweet conversation that transpired about a man named Abraham and his son Isaac. One of my favorite stories about amazing trust and friendship in and with God.
If my plans for the day hadn’t been shaken up a bit I wouldn’t have had this amazing moment at the feet of Jesus, with one of my favorite people, my son. Sure, my house wasn’t as clean as I’d like and the little girls frosted their own cupcakes because I didn’t have time to, but this moment at Jesus’ feet with my son was one of the best portions of my day!
This isn’t the first time God has used my children to teach me that sometimes my plans aren’t quite His. Sometimes the thoughts and patterns I have developed are misconceptions based on well-meaning peoples’ advice or my own preconceived ideas.
My generation was taught by some of the books and leaders of the time that we needed to wake early in the morning and seek God first, using verses like Matthew 6:33, “Seek first the Kingdom of God…”, to push this point. We were taught that we needed to set aside ten to fifteen-minutes to read our Bible as well as ten to fifteen-minutes praying first thing each morning. This misconception of quiet time carried into my life as a wife and mamma. As a new mamma I found it impossible to seek Jesus first thing each day, because kids are your alarm clock and God blessed me with a little boy who woke up EARLY in the morning. I’d set my alarm clock earlier and earlier each day, but it seemed my son would arise even earlier the next day.
One early morning, when my son was about two-years-old, I sat crying on my couch. Like most mornings, I had just laid my sweet boy back in his toddler bed and explained to him that mommy just needed a few more minutes alone so I could have time with Jesus. Like every other morning, he had his arms tight around my neck and through his little boy sobs, was saying, “I jus’ wanna hol’ you.” The truth is I just wanted to hold him too, but I also wanted to do what I thought was the Christian, godly woman thing to do so, I left my crying boy in his bed and went back to my place on the couch. I sat there hugging my Bible to my chest, tears streaming down my cheeks, and said, “God, this cannot be right. How does this show my son your love?”
Then I did one of those Russian roulette things you do with your Bible when you don’t know what to read but want God to speak to you. It doesn’t usually seem to work for me, but when I let my Bible fall open that morning, God spoke to me through Matthew 25:40…
“Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these, my brothers, you did it to me.”
And God said, “When you love on your son, you are loving me.”
I knew instantly what God was telling me to do. I went back upstairs, gathered my boy and his blankie in my arms, and we read God’s word together that morning and many mornings since. I no longer send an early rising kid back to their bed, I just open my arms, grab their little kid Bible and we read, pray, and share moments at Jesus’ feet together. Sometimes we don’t even read our Bibles. Sometimes we do what we did today and talk about what God is doing in our lives.
God used my little man to teach me that time at His feet looks like so many things. It doesn’t have to be just me and God for a certain amount of time, the very first thing in the morning.
Sometimes my time at Jesus’ feet is alone time with Jesus and I love that. But I also love it when I get to snuggle under a blanket with my kids and read them their Bibles. I love it when time at Jesus’ feet is listening to our favorite Christian podcasts or sermons as we’re driving to school or another activity. I love it when time at Jesus’ feet is worship music blasting out of our speakers and we’re all singing at the top of our lungs with smiles of joy on our face. I love it when time at Jesus’ feet is time behind closed doors at the end of a hard day and I get to just hold my babies as they pour out their hurts to me and we pray together.
In the verse above, Luke 10:39 Mary isn’t alone when she’s sitting at Jesus’ feet. There are others around listening to Jesus’ teachings as well. And she didn’t wait for the perfect time to spend at His feet. She didn’t wait until all the things were done and she didn’t wait until she could steal a moment away with only Him. Mary knew about relationship and moments. She recognized this was a moment to be completely in and she took advantage of it, ignoring all other cares, so that she could grow in her relationship with the Lord.
You see, God is bigger than we give Him credit for. He is in the quiet of the morning and in the noise of the afternoon. He is more than a ten to fifteen-minute time slot in your morning routine. He is in every minute of your day. He is with you just as much on your drive to work as He is in your favorite quiet time place. He is everywhere, in all moments, in every situation and circumstance. I invite you to make Jesus your portion today and invite him into EVERY moment of it!
Pray this with me…
Thank you! Thank you, Jesus, that you are more than we will ever be able to comprehend you are. Help us to take you out of the box of misconceptions and preconceived ideas that we’ve created or bought into and let you out in the openness of relationship and intimacy. Help us to step outside of the borders of careful plans and schedules and allow you into every moment of our day. Remind us that it’s more than okay to not get moments alone with you. In fact, it’s part of your perfect plan for us to sit at your feet alongside our family and friends and do this thing called life together. Thank you, for caring so much about us, and relationship, and for being in all the moments.
* Take time to read these scriptures today:
– Matthew 6:33 (NLT) – “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.
– Matthew 18:20 – “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I among them.”
– Hebrews 10:24 – 25 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
– 1 John 1:7 (MSG) – But if we walk in the light, God himself being the light, we also experience a shared
life with one another…
* Think About It:
– What misconceptions or habits are you holding on to, that though they seem Biblically sound, are holding you back from experience the fullness of the good portion with Jesus? Pray that God will help you to give these up and guide you into a new understanding of the good portion.
Blessings to you as you Choose the Good Portion today!
*All Biblical references are ESV unless otherwise noted.