Relent

I woke up and made chocolate chip pancakes for my boys this morning. I really wanted nothing more than to sleep, and I truly wasn’t feeling the whole make-breakfast-for-everyone thing. But our weekends (when I prefer to make breakfast) are pretty full, so I make due with weekday breakfasts to satisfy my love of all the gloriousness that is breakfast foods.

Everyday when my feet hit the floor, the devil is working overtime to make me feel it. The weight of my responsibilities. My exhaustion. My draining thoughts. He is working hard to make sure I can’t enjoy doing work for the Kingdom. Especially the work that involves repeatedly picking up the same toys everyday. Especially the work I don’t want to enjoy. He has his own work cut out for him.

Today especially, I feel like his relentless attitude has won. I don’t want to try harder. I’m finding myself longing to fight more with the people I love rather than walk alongside them. It’s as though I’m running out to battle, hoping to win wars, waging wars with myself.

My boys can be relentless. When I say the words “chocolate chip pancakes”, there is no turning back. I can’t change my mind, unless I want to make the world fall apart for them. They spend every minute until those pancakes are done asking me questions, watching what I’m doing, waiting not-so-patiently for breakfast to arrive on the table. They can devote more energy to stupid chocolate chip pancakes than I do to Jesus.

As I have been holding up my weapons, waging wars, running around a battlefield, God is right in the middle of it.

There are too many toys some days, not enough motivation for dinner prep, not enough separation in my house for me to feel remotely close to sane, too many demands, not enough of me for all of these tiny hands.

He grabs me by the shoulders and is looking straight into my eyes.

“Janelle, this is not a battle. This is not a war. There is nothing to win. There is nothing that you can do to make this a prize.”

God is more relentless than the devil. It says that when He triumphed over the grave, He went down to hell and shoved it in the faces of the fallen angels. He reminded them of His power. He made a point to remind them that He has won, not their mistaken folly. That is my God. The same one. And I put Him to the side most days, thinking that I have battles to fight, wars to win, things that take precedence over His love.

The fact is, there is no war. He has already won. He has already defeated the hard stuff, the difficult days, my frustration. I am not enough most days, but He is. I am tired 85% of the time, but He is just getting started. He is relentless. He grabs me by the shoulders and reminds me that I don’t have to run around as though I am some warrior in battle clothes with weapons to yield and people to defeat.

He has already won.

Did you hear that?

HE. HAS. WON.

He’s reminding me:  Stop fighting to win. Stop waging wars. Stop taking matters into your own hands. Stop running around as though this is all a big fight. Christ is the victor. I don’t have to live as though I’m waiting to be holy. He already has made me so. I am allowed to live on in it. I am allowed to be righteous because He has made me righteous. He has done it!

Tomorrow I’ll go through it again. The waking up, feet hitting the floor, the devil waiting for every chance to pounce and steal my day. But I can call on His Name. He’s already won. So I’m letting the Victor parade His triumph.

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