If I cook all the meals and do all the laundry, but do not have love, I am nothing but a noisy gong.
If I help with all the homework and go outside to play together, but do not have love, I lose.
If I share my opinions on social distancing and shame everyone for not having the same experience as me, but do not have love, I am like crashing cymbals.
If I share a meal with my neighbor and give to those that lost their jobs, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
My version of 1 Corinthians 13
I was doing laundry on Mother’s Day when God showed me the condition of my heart — a pandemic can reveal a lot about each of us. I was frustrated, allowing put-down thoughts to control my mind. I no longer was serving my family in love but was doing a duty with selfishness in my heart.
When our expectations are unmet, we can become frustrated and that can quickly lead to resentment of where we are and whom we are called to serve. Serving isn’t about getting the job done; it’s about the heart behind it and the hearts that feel loved by our actions.
Like others trying to get through the pandemic, many parts of my life have changed. My podcast is on hold. I don’t feel creative to write this post or anything else I was working before all this. I’ve shifted to full-time homemaker, teacher, and caregiver. I struggle with quiet times in the morning and knowing what to study with the Lord. I’ve had to close my Airbnb. And though I should be packing my bags for an international trip with my family right now, that had to be canceled too.
But I’ve learned to pivot. I’ve learned to appreciate today. I try not to complain about the things that just don’t matter. I’ve chosen to learn from this time and know this will not last forever. I’m trusting God that He is working all things together for the good of those that love Him (Romans 8:28). I’m thankful my family has our health and that God has provided for us through this difficult season. I’m thankful to live on our farm and see new life in our animals. I’m loving more time with my family and enjoying the spring weather. I’ve enjoyed teaching my daughter at home and watching her grow.
Most days God has given me contentment and a peace that passes my circumstances or understanding. But sometimes my ugly self can rise up and question how much I do and wonder what’s in it for me: Do those I love really appreciate me? Does what I do matter? Am I doing enough for others? What about all the things God called me to that have stopped?
These thoughts usually pop in my mind when I’m on my fifth load of laundry that day or cooking my 180th meal in two months, when someone tells me they’re hungry while I’m cleaning dishes from the last meal, or when I compare myself to someone else on Instagram. I begin to allow resentment to creep into my heart.
Resentment leads to resistance of simple tasks in our daily life — the very places Jesus served and told us to do the same.
Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant . . . just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
Matthew 20:26, 28 (NIV)
We want to go and do much with the Lord. We want to feel important. And often the daily tasks of our life don’t measure up to our own expectations of what matters in the kingdom of God.
Do we believe daily life is beneath us? Do we think serving those closest to us is not enough? Do we resist the simple things God calls us to that no one will see? Are we powering through these daily activities to get to what we might consider more important things?
This season, God is teaching me that life is not about just getting things accomplished. It’s about serving others as unto the Lord, doing each task with a joy-filled heart. Love makes our actions meaningful. Through the everyday tasks of our socially distanced or stay-at-home lives, God’s love in us can be poured out to those around us.
Our everyday tasks are an act of worship to Him, helping us realign what we know to be important and empowering us to love others in ways we thought were too basic.
As you continue to do the everyday-ness of your life, in whatever phase of this pandemic you are in, remember God does not need your service or spiritual gifts or an attitude of “Let’s get over this and get on to the more important things.” God only needs your availability each day to allow Him to love others through you, and your daily tasks can say “I love you” to God and others.
Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
1 John 3:18 (NIV)
Our everyday tasks are an act of worship to Him, helping us realign what we know to be important and empowering us to love others in ways we thought were too basic. -Stephanie Bryant: Click To Tweet