He is Here
May 10, 2017
He is smiling. It is the toothless, gummy smile I have come to love. I can see his curled even lips in the shadows. Any other time I would welcome this show of genuine affection, reciprocate even. This time, however, I do not smile back. I do not move. I do not make a sound.
Because it is 10:27 p.m., and the worst thing to see at 10:27 p.m. after the longest day ever is your child's happy, energetic, not-in-the-least-bit-tired grin staring up at you.
There are a million things waiting to be done, of course. Laundry to sort and lunches to pack. Work clothes to iron and a baby bag to restock. Not to mention the very essential grocery list and dinner menu I have yet to develop for the week. These are the "get it done" hours, and absolutely nothing is getting done.
Any thought of productivity has been eclipsed by my six-month-old baby's desire to play. He bounces up and down on my knees. He grabs my face with his hands and brings me close for wet kisses. He knows nothing (cares nothing) of my unchecked checklist. Worse still, the absence of language and reasoning skills mean I cannot bribe him to bed with promises of Easter egg candy, or "motivate" him with consequences like his three-year-old brother, who has been peacefully sleeping for hours.
We're stuck here with each other, then. Me with my growing nighttime anxiety and him with his cheery disposition, and I cannot help but think I am losing this game of tug of war called life.
To what truth can I cling in these evening hours when my eyelids hang low and his eyes shine bright? Where is God in these late night hours when the room is silent and my heart so panicked I can't think straight?
He is here.
It's simple I know. It doesn't rhyme, it's not catchy and I've heard far better sermon titles. But it is what comes to comfort me - the little tugboat breaking through the storm to rescue me right before I slip under the waves.
He is here.
After all, He promised. They are the very last words He gives His disciples in Matthew 28:20 after charging them to go make disciples of all nations. And isn't that what I'm doing? Isn't it what Christian mamas all across the world are doing? Making little disciples?
"And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Those words are for us. Those words are for me.
Always? Even at 10:27 p.m. on a weeknight when I have to work the next day? Yes, always.
Always? Even when I don't know what I'm having for dinner tomorrow and we've eaten at Chick-fil-A twice already this week? Yes, always.
Always? Even when life feels heavy and I wonder whether what I'm doing matters? Whether I matter? Yes, always.
He is here with me, with us, even in these lonely nighttime hours (because sometimes motherhood is lonely), and just that knowledge is enough to shine holy light on my darkest doubts.
If He is here, it can only be because He cares (1 Peter 5:7). And if He cares, it can only be because He loves me (John 3:16). And if He loves me, I can trust that every aspect of my life will work itself out for my good and His glory (Romans 8:28).
I hold fast to these truths. I repeat them in my mind over and over and fight to believe. The fact that this baby is awake in my arms at 10:27 p.m. after the longest day ever is for my good, and for His glory. I am coming to accept this slowly: motherhood is my life’s greatest, most sanctifying work. It is hard (oh boy is it hard, but it is also incredibly rewarding.
Finally, my bundle of joy exhausts himself and settles down to nurse. It is almost midnight. I watch as His eyes close slowly, and I thank God for being such a good Father and friend. He hasn’t left me to figure it out by myself in the hard times, but He hasn’t given me all the answers either. Instead He gives grace for the moment, daily provision, step-by-step guidance along the way, and the ever-present promise that out of all the places He is (He is God after all), He is here.
Christina Kposowa attends McLean Bible Church's Montgomery County Campus. To follow more of her motherhood journey, visit her blog at www.thisjoyoushome.com