A Mother’s “Call to Worship”

So-Called Interruptions

When we feel that our environment must be “just so” in order to have fellowship with God, any wild-card elements inherit the name “Interruption.” A toddler’s plea for help with a game is an interruption. The children’s early bedtime is an interruption. The baby who refuses to settle down is an interruption.

What if God wants to fellowship with us right where we are—even in the commotion of ordinary life? Most assuredly, he does. Consider how the triune God is working to ensure that you behold his glory throughout your days and nights.

Your heavenly Father is sovereign over all things. A sparrow drops its feather on the ground, escaping the clutches of a curious little boy. A car battery dies in the parking lot after a playdate at the same moment your overtired children reach their limit. A pacifier falls out of a baby’s mouth just before the baby nods off to sleep. Nothing—nothing—happens without the sovereign Lord’s ordaining it. He is trustworthy and praiseworthy in every moment in every circumstance.

Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full

Gloria Furman

Motherhood is a gift from God, but sometimes it can be overwhelming. Reorienting exhausted moms to the soul-satisfying grace of God, Gloria Furman helps readers learn to treasure Christ in the mundane moments of life.

The eternal Son of God is Immanuel—God with us. Jesus fulfilled God’s holy law, was crucified in our place, rose victorious from the dead, and is reigning at the Father’s right hand. Jesus satisfied God’s wrath against sin and purchased us from the slavery of sin. By faith we receive Jesus’s perfect righteousness, and he creates in us new hearts that are prone to love him. Even when you don’t feel this is true about yourself, a daughter of the King, it is. Even when you imagine that your life is hell and you have forgotten that you’ve been transferred into the kingdom of God’s marvelous light, you’re still his forever. You can be sure that nothing will separate you from God’s love for you in Christ Jesus your Lord—“neither death nor life” (Rom. 8:38).

The Holy Spirit of God indwells the heart of believers and writes God’s law on their heart. When we meditate on God’s Word, the Spirit delights to confirm in our heart that God is who he says he is. The Spirit graciously awakens us to the affliction of our sin, and he enlivens in us an affection for God’s holiness. When we put our hand to the plow (or rather, the scrub brush), the Spirit enlivens us to work as unto the Lord. The Spirit helps us in our weakness and ignorance, praying for us as we don’t know what to pray for. The Holy Spirit is like the neuron that travels from our taste buds to our brain with the message that darkchocolate-covered orange slices are exquisite. When we taste things such as providence or our union with Christ, it’s the Spirit who tells our heart that the Lord is good.

An Invitation to Worship God

In our church’s weekly corporate worship gatherings, we have what you call “the Call to Worship.” Someone stands up front with the microphone and reads a portion of Scripture, inviting everyone to worship God. In line with the “so-called interruptions” idea, mothers hear “calls to worship” throughout their days and nights. If we have ears to hear these invitations, then we have opportunities to worship the Lord, who is nearer to us than we often realize.

Babies cry for food, warmth, company, and love. They plead for our help. The cries of our precious little ones remind us that we’re not too different from them. We, too, are helpless and in a desperate estate; we desperately need the Lord. God’s Word instructs us not to give up crying out to him until he answers. Tune your heart to listen for times to acknowledge your neediness before the Lord. “Incline your ear, O Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy” (Ps. 86:1).

Our hearts can be called to worship even through cries of anger. Frustrated children shriek indignantly over the loss of a treasured possession from the toy box. Justice must be served! How about you? Do you ever feel righteous indignation over injustice? Do you allow yourself to feel grief over your own sin? Do you dull your conscience with, “Oh, well, what can be done?” when you see the horror of evil in our world? When a Christian acknowledges the wickedness of sin and evil, the Spirit comforts her heart and leads her in exaltation of the God who vanquishes his enemies with perfect justice. When you feel frustration and indignation well up inside you, remember what God’s Word says about whose prerogative it is to execute justice. Respond in your heart with a posture of peaceful repose in God’s plan to conquer his enemies. “But the wicked will perish; the enemies of the Lord are like the glory of the pastures; they vanish—like smoke they vanish away” (Ps. 37:20). And reach out to those around you in mercy and love, serving as a humble servant.

The cries of our precious little ones remind us that we’re not too different from them.

“Watch me, Mommy!” Over the lilting melodies playing through the speakers, a tiny ballerina eagerly invites me to watch her twirl. She wants to share her joy with any and all who will watch and be enchanted by the music and dancing. Her expectation of shared joy reminds me of how Jesus invites me to share in his infinite joy forever. Have you ever noticed that a young child will not stop inviting you to share in her joy until you relent and do so? Jesus’s joy is neither shortlived nor easily distracted; it is complete and reaches to the uttermost depths of our heart. Respond by faith to Jesus’s invitation to satisfy you fully forever. “These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full” (John 15:11).

Through the recycled air of the car I can hear whining coming from the backseat. Impatience is made manifest in complaining. This is so like me. I want what I want, and I want it yesterday. As I toss a bag of crackers into the hands of a preschooler who’s got the munchies, I’m reminded of how it’s hard to complain when your heart is filled with praise. You’ve heard the admonition “Don’t talk with your mouth full.” But the Bible says otherwise—we are to talk with our heart and mouth full! “My mouth is filled with your praise, and with your glory all the day” (Ps. 71:8); “Praise the Lord! I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation” (Ps. 111:1); “The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45).

For me, the call to worship that I have the hardest time hearing is the one in the early morning. For the years our young family had to share a bedroom, I was regularly wakened by excited, breathless whispers in my ear, announcing the forthcoming sunrise. My groggy disbelief is but a fraction of the weariness and soul heaviness that was felt by the women who arrived at a certain tomb before dawn and were not expecting to behold the risen Son.

But because Jesus did rise from the dead, every glorious sunrise (even the early ones) marches forward and points us to look ahead to the day that is coming, which will be the end of darkness forever. On that day we will all see our Savior face-to-face with no more doubting or lukewarm affections or soul sluggishness. Then we will call each other to worship God forever and ever, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!” (Rev. 5:13b).

This article is adapted from Treasuring Christ When Your Hands Are Full: Gospel Meditations for Busy Moms by Gloria Furman.

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