You plunge your arms elbow-deep into the soapy sink water and shove the bottle brush into the crevices of yet another baby bottle that rolled under the crib and laid there forgotten until the stomach-turning stench of sour milk sent you on a hunt for the source.
You sigh a deep, sleepy-filled sigh as you strip the covers, sheets, and mattress pad off your daughter’s bed once again. Another nighttime accident.
Laundry. Oh my word the laundry. And you’re pretty certain that your load would be cut in half if your son actually picked his clothes up and put them away while they were clean instead of leaving them on the floor for a week and then chucking them all back in the dirty clothes hamper.
You robotically scoop dinner onto plates on this busy Tuesday night, tired from a day at work, an afternoon of errands, and an evening of soccer practice. You sit down and feign energy when really all you want to do is fall deep into the comfy corner spot on the couch and finish that TV drama series you started three weeks ago. But they need to eat and it is important to be together.
Gosh it can be hard to serve. It can be so difficult to serve people day in and day out with all the monotony and humdrumness and altogether lack of thanks involved. Especially when we’re talking about serving little people. The amount of laundry, sweeping, carrying, and meal prepping involved can be so overwhelming. And the truth is, it feels like no one notices or even cares. Your best efforts are often met with complaining and whining and the promise that you’ll have to do it all over again the next day. Or even the next hour. How are we to find the energy and motivation to keep on keeping on when there seems to be no point? As with so many things in life the answer lies with Jesus.
Listen to these words from our sweet Savior’s lips spoken 2,000 years ago:
… for I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you took me in; I was naked and you clothed me … assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me.
Every day we meet these same basic needs for our children and it can be so easy to feel as if there is no higher purpose. But the Lord sees otherwise. The least of these – these little ones that are incapable of meeting their own needs or at least meeting them well – anytime we serve the least of these it is as if we are serving the Lord himself. With this in mind, diapers aren’t just diapers, they are opportunities to show Christ’s love to the smallest members of God’s family. Having another discussion about character or disciplining a child for the same offense yet again is actually pouring gospel truth into a life specially purposed for God’s kingdom. And in all of this, He sees, He remembers, He takes note.
Be encouraged today that your work, your everyday work of serving the little ones, the least of these around you, is not just contained under the roof of your suburban home. No. This work, this service to the least of these, is counted for the Kingdom of God as serving the Lord Himself. Your work has great purpose – don’t let your everyday mundane steal your perspective of the glory of the eternal.