Encouragement for the Daily Grind
"For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer." 1 Peter 3:12a (ESV)
It's common, everyday stuff. She tells me it's nothing, but I know better.
This solo parent single-handedly holds each strand of her small daughter's hair. It's getting late, but she must continue ridding the unwelcome "guests." Comb, wash and comb again, fingers exhausted as the clock strikes midnight.
I send her this text message, You're doing great. She writes me back, telling of her doubt. What's so special about picking out lice? she wonders as she finally collapses in bed, daughter enfolded under her mama's wings. Will this little girl remember her mother's sacrifices? Most likely not. But she will remember the safety and care of her mother's nest.
And my friend? What will she remember? Shins kicked big by tiny feet, sleepy breath in her face, and trudging through the daily grind. These are what she believes she'll remember, and no one else will ever see or know. These exhausting moments when she wishes she were doing something more noble or noteworthy.
But I know better. I know I'm not the only one who sees her sacrifices of love. I know that these common moments, built one upon the other, create great lifetimes. These moments are mostly free, yet they cost quite a bit, don't they? Their currency? Time, energy, selflessness, dreams and yes, sleep. All these investments build a life of loving high and deep.
I'm reminded of a story I read years ago of a woman who opened the front cover of a coffee table book about magnificent cathedrals. She paused to soak in the inscription of this book that had been gifted to her: With admiration for the greatness of what you are building when no one sees.
A story, hidden in the pages of her book, is recounted: A rich man came to visit the cathedral while it was being built ... he saw a workman carving a tiny bird on the inside of a beam. He was puzzled and asked the man, "Why are you spending so much time carving that bird into a beam that will be covered by the roof? No one will ever see it."
And the workman replied, "Because God sees" (Nicole Johnson, The Invisible Woman)
Though my friend's efforts were unseen by the rest of the world, they were not unnoticed by the Lord. Her late-night labor of love was building something beautiful in the eyes of God. He saw her just as He promises in 1 Peter 3:12a, "For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer."
He watches over us as a mother bird keeps watch on her chicks. God's eyes of love, care and protection see each of our everyday efforts that can bring discouragement in the daily grind. Folding the 11th basket of clothes ... today. Cooking dinner with no "thank you" given. Stripping bed sheets in the middle of the night when kids get sick.
Whether you are investing in your own children, or someone else's, keep up the greatness in the common moments. It may seem like nothing, but you matter. You're building. You're seen.
Dear Lord, I can get so weary and tired of persisting in building greatness in the everyday moments of life. It often feels like no one notices or appreciates me. Thank You for confirming that YOU see me. That is more than enough. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Reflect and Respond:
We need to replenish ourselves as we pour out love, energy, and prayer on others. Determine now to set aside time each day to spend with God and notice how He replenishes you.
Psalm 33:18, "Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love ... " (ESV)