It was a Monday and I was out of apples.
I am a fruit hoarder. I always keep a glass bowl of fruit on our counter; I think it looks beautiful. I go to the grocery on Thursday and fill the bowl full of ripe fruit – anticipating it will last until the following Thursday. But on this particular week, it was only Monday and the apples were gone.
Jamus walked in from work and I am sure he saw it on my face; the disappointment of the day and brokenness of spirit. If he did not see it on my face, he had a heads up from a few “Annie gone crazy” text messages I had sent him earlier in the day. Head planted deep in a tear soaked pillow, I went through the bullet list of how NOTHING had gone right that day (dirty house, misbehaved kids, had not had my quiet time, depressed). Then, after wallowing through the extensive list I did an ugly cry and exclaimed, “and if that’s not enough, it’s Monday and we are already out of apples!”
Maybe you can relate. What should we do when it’s Monday and we are already out of apples? Or, when it’s Monday and we’re already out of patience, out of love, out of enthusiasm, out of energy, out of creativity, out of toilet paper, etc.
My feet hit the floor heavy; I was tired from our two year old deciding to have a blueberry bagel party at 2am in the morning. I was tired of seeing that massive boulder of dirty clothes – didn’t I just wash those? Seriously, how did this happen? I have nothing to show for my work! I worked hard to clean the house, but it somehow looks like it vomited on itself at the end of the day. I do intense workouts and eat healthy but I cannot seem to get my rear-end to look like Jillian Michaels’ and she promised it would in any pair of jeans I put on. My children were annoying me, and to be honest, I just did not like them very much.
As a result, overwhelming guilt came over me. I should be able to keep a clean house and love my children perfectly all the time. Then there is the boredom. I’m tired of eating peanut butter sandwiches every day, watching the same Disney shows and tackling the same arguments with the kids. “No, it’s not okay to slam your brother into the wall!”
But in the midst of all of the whining, it hits me like a ton of bricks: Why am I so unthankful when God has given me so much? I have three healthy children. There are women who have lost children to death or who are barren, and here I am acting complaining. Wow, I really am an unthankful, spoiled brat. I looked at the empty glass bowl on the counter and it was as if it was mocking me, reminding me that I am empty and a fruitless Christian.
I felt broken just like the bird on our driveway yesterday. “Poor bird!” James exclaimed. “Can we help it Mommy?” he asked, as he offered up his Panera cup to the crippled Robin. The bird looked as if it had crashed into a window and broken his neck. It was probably the neighbor’s windows (they actually use Windex). The bird’s neck was stuck in a sideways/twisted position and he was frantically wobbling around between death and confusion. I wanted to put the poor thing out of his misery, but not wanting the kids to think I was a bird killer, I left it lying there broken.
We were not meant to be broken. When Adam and Eve took the fruit and ate of it, brokenness began. Children die, cancer grows in our bodies, depression attacks, marriages crumble, sex trafficking, infertility, sadness, war, hatred – are all signs of the curse and the result is brokenness.
We spend our days looking to be full, but apart from Christ, we will stand (or lie) there broken.
My feelings lie to me.
I read in Isaiah 53 that Christ “was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace and with his stripes we are healed.”
In Christ, I am healed. I am a new creation. It is no longer I that is living, but Christ that is living in Me. He was broken (literally) so that I could become beautiful to God. He covers all my ugly and broken mess from yesterday, today, and tomorrow. My nasty broken Monday is covered by his broken body. My tears are washed away in His blood.
According to Colossians, “He has delivered us (me) from the dominion of darkness and transferred us (me) to the kingdom of his beloved Son.” When I start living for my kingdom here on this earth, things start to feel broken. I start to feel broken because I am called to another kingdom. I am to live for HIS kingdom. I cannot make this earthly kingdom work for me.
I am reminded that I have this “treasure in jars of clay – to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us . . . . We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.”
I complained today about everything, raised my voice at the kids, surfed the internet entirely too much and definatley will not be nominated for mother of the year award. I was a complete brat BUT the Lord does not see a brat, He sees His son Jesus Christ, in whom He is well pleased.
Some days, we must be emptied before we can be filled. Some days, our little temporary kingdoms must be shattered so that He can remind us that a greater kingdom is coming. Some days we have to come to the end of ourselves before we’ll realize we must look to Him. Some days we are reminded that we are jars made out of clay, and some days we are reminded that our weaknesses ultimately show His glory.
Whether it’s Monday or Saturday, and whether there are 7 apples or no apples, Jesus is still King, and He’s still on the throne – and He’s still enough.