Jesus, Be All In Me

Parent - Family

Taking care of an infant presents some very unique challenges. There is something about having to meet the needs of a crying baby at all hours of the day and night that sands down your stamina. Add in a toddler with a propensity for whining and exercising her autonomy and a kindergartner who acts like he’s never had to get ready for school in the morning, ever and I can honestly say my patience is worn almost threadbare on a daily basis. Maybe you’ve been there too.

 

Lately I’ve been finding out how impossible it is to do life well apart from Christ. Left to my own instincts, reactions, and reasoning, I would be miserable and bring everyone around down with me. My sin-bent nature means that I am naturally selfish, self-serving, and filled with all sorts of unkindness, including snapping at my kids and going on long rants about how I’m the only one who ever cares about anything around this house. There are zero redeeming qualities about me apart from Christ.

 

What I am finding though is that sin part of me is so easy to give into. It feels so much easier to yell when I feel frustrated or eat chocolate when I feel stressed rather than exercise self-control and reach out for the power of the Holy Spirit. And giving into my selfish ways feels especially tempting when I find myself operating on little sleep and my energy reserves are being depleted. All too often my heart echoes Paul’s words in Romans 7:15: What I do not want to do, I do and what I hate I do.

 

That is me, day in and day out, apart from Christ.

 

I’ve started the practice of repeating this very simple phrase anytime I feel myself drifting towards what I don’t want to do.

Jesus, be all in me I cannot be.

 

When the baby just won’t settle and my eyes burn with tears and frustration.

Jesus, be all in me I cannot be.

 

When it is time to start the day and I feel anything but refreshed by what little sleep I had.

Jesus, be all in me I cannot be.

 

When I find my son playing legos instead of whatever thing I’ve asked him to do.

Jesus, be all in me I cannot be.

 

When my daughter gets creative with her art supplies on my new furniture.

Jesus, be all in me I cannot be.

 

When the kids are supposed to be asleep but I keep hearing calls for one more drink, one more hug, one more story.

Jesus, be all in me I cannot be.

 

When I feel dry but am required to continue to pour out.

Jesus, be all in me I cannot be.

 

The phrase is so simple and yet, so profoundly life-changing. I believe the Lord rewards that humble acknowledgement of what I truly cannot do on my own and unlocks the supernatural strength necessary to dig deeper when I feel like giving up and allying with my selfishness.

 

If there is anything I have learned in the last three months since we brought a third baby home it’s that I am so incredibly weak without Christ. The pressures of taking care of three little ones day in and day out on very little sleep is incredibly daunting. The needs are always there and it is always me who needs to meet them. What I have seen myself be on my own is ugly and everything a Christ-follower should not be. But with Him? With Him I can be patient and kind, loving and gracious. I can suffer long and serve others with meekness and humility. With Him I can be all the things I never could be on my own.

 

Jesus, is all in me that I cannot be.