If you are anything like me, you are a planner, a do-er, a list-maker. You love to spend quality time with people and in your heart of hearts you are a Mary, but truthfully, you have some Martha in you, too. Maybe you, too, have found that it is far too easy to turn the callings Jesus has placed in our hearts into a job… something to mark off the “too long to do” to-do list.
Unfortunately, Christian culture has come up with tons of adjectives to reinforce this kind of behavior… Maybe you, too, have been called a “pray warrior,” “lion,” “seed planter,” “kingdom worker,” or any other number of words that Christians use to acknowledge tenacity in Kingdom building. While our good-meaning friends mean to encourage us, the down-side to these words is that they make us forget it’s not at all about what we do–it’s about God and his good work.
I have had days where I have forgotten this truth lately.
I believe that God loves our heart and tenacity, but He wants more from us than marking things off his to-do list. He wants a celebration. To be showered with words of glory and praise for all He’s done, all He’s doing and all He’s yet to do. He doesn’t just want us to fall to our knees when we need something big, He wants us to crumble at His feet because we have started to come to terms with exactly how good He is.
And He is SO good.
Recently a family that I love had a couple of needs I wanted to see met, so I prayed about it, posted a facebook status and sent out a couple of emails. The response was staggering. I was overwhelmed, to be honest. Would you believe the responses haven’t stopped?!
As I was walking out of a late night class, I got the first series of responses, and instantly my mind started whirling. During the long, creepy walk to my car, I was so busy thinking about what my little role in this situation needed to be that I almost overlooked what God had already done.
It wasn’t until I pulled onto the interstate on the way home that it hit me… God showed up. His presence was with me, and I was missing it. I felt a little bit ashamed as He reminded me, gently, “Jessica, can’t we stop to celebrate what I did here? Do that tonight, and make your lists tomorrow.”
God saw the possibility to have so many more needs met, and He used seemingly unlikely people (good Samaritan style) and methods to facilitate it. He was just God being God. And I almost missed it.
“I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.” Psalm 27:13
The day following God’s late night whispers, I drove to visit my sweet friends, ordered a few pizzas and announced we were having a party. When asked why, I simply said, “God is good to us, and deserves a party.” These friends are needed reminders that God provides for his children and is worthy of CONSTANT praise.
Everything the Bible has taught me about Heaven has led me to believe it will be one big celebration of God and his infinite love. I don’t want it to be an adjustment for me, I don’t want celebrating Him to be something that I gradually get used to during the course of eternity. Rather, I want to celebrate Heaven like it’s here now. On days like today, when I remember to pay attention, I have to believe it’s coming soon.
“You alone are the LORD. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you.” Nehemiah 9:6
Jessica Tincher lives, learns and blogs in Lexington, KY. What keeps her going every day is her joy for making children the world often leaves out feel included in God’s Kingdom.