Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
I’m a mom. It’s probably impossible to understand where I’m coming from unless you first know that. I’m a mom of five awesome kids, all of them born within seven and a half years. So yeah, being a mom is kind of a big deal in my world, and being a mom that is passionately pursuing Jesus, that’s another challenge altogether! About three years ago, this verse about seeking God first started to become extremely personal to me. I found myself in a never ending cycle of wanting to know God more and increasingly frustrated with my ability (or rather lack of ability) to make seeking Him deeply actually work. I always thought if I could just achieve that perfect moment; when the dishes were done, the house picked up, the to do list accomplished, and everything and everyone quiet, then I would be undistracted and able to go deep. Can anyone relate?
As you can imagine, this “perfect” scenario never came. I wanted to want God more, I really did! But I was battling impossible expectations on myself, and feeling condemned for not being able to “get it together” and connect the way I longed to. I often looked back at my single years as the time when I was “really in love with Jesus” only to feel more condemned than inspired. Well-meaning comments of “It’s just a season.” and “Give yourself grace.” were kind, but somehow felt empty. While they did carry a certain amount of truth, they mostly left me frustrated. Something in me knew there was more that God had for me now, but how in the world could I connect with Him in a life that seemed consumed by things to do, constant interruptions, and never enough sleep? Something inside me knew there was more God had for me and I simply was not willing to wait until my children were grown to connect with Him on a deeper level. I knew I could not be me without Him. Something had to change.
Amidst my frustration, Holy Spirit began to gently nudge me to take this verse more literally.“Seek me first, Amy” not after the dishes are done. “Seek me first,” not after you’ve accomplished enough. Seek Me: put energy into knowing Me first and all these other things will come together as well. Finally, I got fed up and desperate enough to take Him seriously.
The next several months often looked like me sitting at my kitchen table, Bible and notebook in hand, surrounded by dirty dishes, Cheerios on the floor, and navigating almost constant interruptions. In my heart though, I was determined to press through.
James 4:8 “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”
You know this is actually true? (Funny how the Bible is like that.) The more I pressed into knowing God, through reading my Bible, journaling to Him (a great tool to help me focus!), reading devotionals, putting on worship music and having dance parties with my kids (whatever it takes!) I could actually feel my connection to God growing stronger. Something else was happening as well, the closer I got to God, the more deeply aware I became that there is more of Him to know! And with this awareness my desire for Him is getting stronger and stronger. I’m discovering I can meet with Him even in the craziest of atmospheres because my desire for Him has grown stronger than the distractions. I’ve found He’s also not offended by interruptions or conversations put on hold because an emergency diaper change or bloody nose. I want to know Him and He wants to know me, and He’s called me to do this right smack dab in the middle of raising five kids, supporting my husband, and impacting the world around me one person at a time. I know He wants to be with me now and not wait for another season. I want to be with Him too! He is proving to me the truth of this verse: as I seek Him first, everything else is coming together. And yes, every once in awhile, I even sweep the Cheerios off the floor!
My prayer is that those around me, and you, as you read this post, will be inspired to seek Him too.
Do you feel Him calling? It’s worth the pursuit.