The whining grates. Work and death to self and work and sacrifice and work stretch out in a gloomy, endless prospect before my selfish, lazy heart. I grow weary in the well-doing.
But I am reminded of some truth God graciously spoke to my heart in the last weeks of my pregnancy with Jude, when I was also fearful and weary, when I didn't yet know how that story was going to turn out:
This won't last forever.
The shrieking and lack of verbal skills won't last forever. Sleep deprivation won't last forever. Potty training won't last forever. Nursing pain won't last forever. Dining room table buried under clutter and bathtub you'd be ashamed to let your mother see and kitchen floor you don't even want to calculate how long since it's been mopped won't last forever. Not even having time to shower during the day, let alone string together one coherent thought? That stage won't last forever.
This season of waiting and waiting for that blessing you have longed for your whole life--it won't last forever. Your unemployment won't last forever. Your chronic pain, your tragic marriage, your unbearable grief, your overwhelming struggle with that one besetting sin...none of this will last forever. I can say this with absolute certainty.
If you do not know and love and trust the Lord, far worse things even than these *will* last forever. But if you are in Christ--if your hope is in Him alone--all of the grief and pain in your life, all the things you fear, all the suffering because of others' sins and all the suffering you've inflicted on yourself, it will all pass away. However endless this season seems, it is a season. It will not last forever.
Obvious, I know--yet somehow reassuring. Better yet, to think that while these painful things will definitely come to an end, some things *DO* last forever and ever, without end:
"His steadfast love endures forever" (Psalm 136)Today, in this season, I am needing to remind myself of this truth. The struggle with sin, the trial, will not last forever. But my Father's love and mercy and faithfulness will last forever. His Word will last forever. His perfect reign of righteousness and grace and peace will last forever. His Holy Spirit will be with me forever. And I will live forever with Him.
"...Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and of peace there will be no end" (Isaiah 9:6-7)
"the word of our God will stand forever" (Isaiah 40:8)
"My salvation will be forever" (Isaiah 51:6)
"I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever" (John 6:51)
"He will give you another Helper, to be with you forever" (John 14:16)
"The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever" (Revelation 11:15)
[P.S. - If you skipped over it, I recommend going back and reading that "Don't carpe diem" post I linked at the beginning. It's not just a whiny "motherhood is awful" post--it's a beautiful exhortation to exult in the glory moments of raising children, the sweet spots that make all the work worthwhile.]