Updated: Jul 16, 2020
“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10
It’s 4:30pm and I’m pulling in the driveway with two kids talking on top of each other, one asking if Noah (of the Ark) is still alive as his sister explains he’s dead. As her brother is about to cry, I pull into the garage, chest tight and mentally overwhelmed. “Noah is with Jesus” I say, “Now go inside, put your shoes in the bin and go straight upstairs to the showers.”
Noah, bless. I hope I got that right. He’s with Jesus right? I carry that thought into a messy house, as the multi-tasking part of my brain kicks in because I know there’s more. I see the laundry on the floor. If I hurry, could I throw a load of laundry in with no mix ups of my son’s black baseball pants that got too close to my daughter’s brand new white shorts like last time?
Oh the pressure.
I walk into the kitchen as my chest continues to tighten. If nothing else gets done, at least the kids will have gotten showers. I process my surroundings and try to assess where to start. Behind the backdrop of all of the things my people dropped on the counter was a big green word that said “clean” on the dishwasher.
Something to be celebrated means there’s one more thing to do before I can tackle any of it – put all the dishes away.
As I stack and place the clean dishes that I am super thankful to have, I think, “do the scriptures apply to moments like this?” They seem so real in the mornings or at church, but what about right now? When everything around me is chaos, no order, and just a lot to do in a short amount of time? I'm overwhelmed.
Ephesians 2:10 came to mind, “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for
good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
I’ve read that verse so often, but more with the thought that maybe the good works He’s prepared for me to do are coming around the bend. What an honor to be His workmanship – I drink that in for a moment as I put the glasses on the shelf. Then it occurred to me, maybe, just maybe, these dishes are the good works and I should walk in them.
Could these be the good works He’s prepared in advance for me? What about world hunger or world peace or serving in the nursery at church?
It doesn't make it easier or less overwhelming, it just brings purpose to it all. These tasks require a higher dependence on the Father to do them well, with peace, rooted in the purpose right before our eyes.
We are doing eternal work, keeping a house functioning while simultaneously filling up bellies and hearts. We are laying the groundwork as we raise adults, inviting them into the process of managing chaos well, because we know it's important work even when it feels extremely monotonous and mundane.
What if we’re looking for the mountain top good works? The fun good works? I start on the silverware rack. Could this be good works? I’m starting to think so.
If we study the character of Jesus, we can see that humility reigns in the kingdom of God. Dying to self, forgiving, sacrificing, serving – all out of His love - is what makes us His disciples. Honestly, it’s the quiet moments, the acts behind the scenes, that radiate His glory.
I put the empty silverware rack back in the dishwasher and close the door as I count it a joy to walk in these tasks. This chaos can be the boss of me or I can give it to the real boss to manage.
The frustration and anxiety weaken as I relinquish control to a Sovereign God.
Sloppy Joes and chips for the win, sitting on the porch breathing in the summer air, then watching two miracles swing on the swings as the sun sets on another miraculous day, where the good works were done….you know, the ones He prepared in advance for me to do.
Maybe if we look right in front of us, we’ll see the plan and purpose of God. If we know that our child was made in His image, then we will have the eyes to see Him in the ear to ear laugh that's missing two front teeth. Or the glass we put into the dishwasher, a reminder that He made every grain of sand that was liquefied to make this glass, and as familiar as He is with each granule of sand, it familiar He is with every hair on our heads.