Today’s post is a guest post from Michele Cushatt. Michele is a popular workshop speaker at our 2011 Hearts at Home conferences. A mom of three boys, she lives with her family in Colorado. You can find Michele online at www.michelecushatt.com.
I’ve long envied Moses.
Sure, he spent middle age caring for sheep, ran into some trouble with that Pharaoh guy, and then spent his twilight years enduring a posse of whining toddlers, er, Israelites. But somewhere in the midst of all these crises, he managed to develop an intimate relationship with the Almighty:
“The LORD would speak to Moses, face to face, as one speaks with a friend.” (Exodus 33:11)
Imagine! God talking with a man like you and I would sit and chat over coffee. I want a cuppa that.
I, too, have endured whining toddlers (and teenagers), and often I feel like my job as wife and mom is little more than herding stinking sheep. Lately, we’ve also faced a long stretch of crises. From unexpected parenting challenges to grief and health issues, hardship pelted our family like the plagues of Egypt. I whined like a 2 year old at the feet of my Father: Make it stop! Now!
But as time passed, my complaint matured into a prayer: Father, be near! Through this extended season, I learned what I needed more than deliverance was nearness. I think Moses discovered the same:
“If your presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us?” (Exodus 33:15-16)
Whether you’re a mother dealing with the rigors of parenting toddlers or a woman facing a string of painful circumstances, we need nearness even more than deliverance. But how do we experience the friend-like presence of the same God who walked with Moses?
It begins with an invitation.
This week it occurred to me I haven’t spent enough time with a good friend. Busy schedules are to blame, and months have passed since we last connected. I sent her a text: “I miss you! Let’s get together. This week?”
Feeling her absence, I extended an invitation to connect. Common sense, right? We do this almost automatically with a spouse, child or friend. But, when it comes to our relationship with God, we often dive into the fray of each day without stopping to invite His presence.
Think about it this way. Imagine waking up to a kiss on the cheek and a whispered “Good morning” from your husband. You roll over to hear him say he’d like to have lunch together, anywhere you choose. He misses you, wants some time with you. How does that make you feel? Chances are you’re about to melt into a puddle right there in your flannel PJ’s. With a few words, he acknowledged the priority of your relationship, communicated a desire to be together, nurtured the relationship, and even ignited a sense of anticipation.
An invitation. Simple, but with potential for big reward. Sounds a lot like Moses, don’t you think?
It doesn’t require fancy stationary or a calligrapher’s pen. As you nurse that first cup of coffee of the morning, try whispering something like this:
Good morning, God. It’s a new day. The kids have a million activities going on, and my to-do list is longer than I can accomplish. But I want you more than anything else. Walk with me today, will you? Your presence is what I need most of all.
The best part of seeking God’s presence is this: He wants to share it. From creation, to Moses and on to today, God desires to be near. Regardless of your schedule or circumstances, God’s wants to be with you in it. Invite Him, and then expect Him to show up.
God’s presence is a reality, not just something we dream about and wish for, and not something reserved only for Moses. It’s for me. For you.
Will you invite Him into your mothering experience today?
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Wow! I needed this today. Life has been one crisis after another lately. The idea of inviting Jesus near and present in the middle of this makes my heart peaceful. Thanks for posting.
Don’t you love it when God gives us exactly what we need? I’m so glad this was helpful.
Stephanie, I’m sorry to hear about this season of crises. They always seem to come in groups, don’t they? 🙂 I prayed for you this afternoon, that God would bring you relief. But more than anything, I’ve asked Him to give you a special awareness of His presence in the middle of it all!
A dear friend of mine sent this to me today via facebook. In the past 3 years I have lost my best friend and husband of 22 years and then remarried. In the past 4 weeks have found out he has cheated on me multiple time in our short marriage. So to get this today after a sleepless night and many prayers was a true blessing. Thank you and thank God for sending it my way.
Kim, I’m so sorry for all the grief and loss that you have experienced. However, I’m so glad these words were of great encouragement to you today. Lord, I lift Kim up to you and I pray that she will experience your presence, feel your arms around her, and find your peace even in the midst of the storms of life. In Christ’s name. Amen.
Kim, I’m heartbroken for you! I wish there was something I could say or do to ease your grief. But, having been through similar circumstances myself, I know the only thing to say is I’m sorry. Thank you for being willing to share. I echo Jill’s prayer — Father, show her your presence like you never have before! Blanket her with an inexplicable peace and confidence in your unwavering love.
I love reading these and I am with steph on this. I really needed to hear this and maybe that will help me through my long day tomorrow. Thank you jill for know what us women need!
Thank you Michele. Your words are a precious reminder that our Lord doesn’t force Himself on us but wants to be invited into our circumstances. My days are full of mothering responsibilities and wifely duties and your words are helpful.