A few weeks ago “Do not grow weary in well doing” literally jumped into my mind. It was unexpected, both out of place and time. I was NOT engaged in what I thought of as “well doing” at that moment. Nor was I in a particularly “spiritual” frame of mind. In fact, after the verse jumped in—surprising me—I retorted back at, I assumed, the Holy Spirit. “What if I’m just simply ‘weary’ without there being any ‘well doing’ going on at all? That’s rather depressing, don’t you think? It means I am weary simply spinning my wheels, simply being ‘busy’ with suburban mom ‘stuff.’”
I waited for a moment, wondering if another verse would “pop up.” Nothing came, but I was left with a slightly unsettled feeling, as if the conversation were not yet finished.
A week later it continued, this time a bit more forcefully. I was driving (no surprise there–a literal spinning of the wheels), vaguely longing for “otherness”—a more focused ministry that involved our entire family (or at least my husband and I together), a centralized location that would involve much less “in the car” time for me…
This time it wasn’t a verse, just three words, but they cut across my mind, stark, black on a white background.
“You are discontent.”
What? Discontent? That didn’t describe me! I was simply longing for something “better,” right? A more spiritual life, one that stood out as “different.” One that could serve as a good example for others…
Ooh—pride as well as discontent.
Really, Lord? I asked. This—what I so often see as a “small” life—is what You want for me? This here? This now?
It was confirmed by a conversation with my mother-in-law. “Let me tell you what I’ve been praying for you lately,” she said. (What a blessing to have not one but two sets of parents who pray for me!) “I’m praying that you will see the goodness and purpose in all the running around, the cooking, the organizing of schedules, the ‘mothering stage’ you are now in, with kids who need you in very different ways than they did when they were younger. I’m praying that you will understand that all this, though it seems small, is BIG. In all this, you are loving your children. This is your good work.”
Good work. Well doing.
Oh, Lord, I prayed, help me to see this—to keep on seeing this.
And help me not to grow weary.
*Here’s a link to a Tim Keller sermon titled “Everyone with a Gift” in which he talks about this very kind of discontent. I’ve listened to it twice now–and I probably need to listen to it again.