By: Amy Nabors
This morning I was getting my 3-year-old ready for school, and it was time to put her socks and shoes on. She is growing so fast and wants so much to be independent and “do it myself, mommy”. Instead of the normal battle of me asking if she “wants to accept help”, her refusing help, the subsequent failure of whatever task she is trying to do, and then crying out for help, I sat back and let her attempt to put on the socks all by herself. Waiting for the tantrum, but to my surprise, she did it! She put that first sock on, all the way, the right direction, the first try! She looked up at me with the biggest smile, eyes beaming with pride and excitement, “I DID IT, Mommy!” At that moment, I was fully present. I felt true joy for her accomplishment, and then, I. SAW. JESUS. I saw him right there, kneeling down beside us, beaming with pride and excitement as well! He looked at me, and his eyes pierced my soul, reminding me,
I am present. I am present in the everyday, the mundane, and I see you. I see you when you succeed, and I see you when you struggle. I am present, and my presence IS the fullness of joy.
This is what it means to be present. To seek Jesus’ face in the everyday moments and experience the fullness of joy that life can bring through his presence. My nature is to always be on the move, always rushing to the next appointment, the next adventure, the next engagement. I don’t have time to slow down and deal with toddler sock struggles. For. The. Love. I just want to get it done and move on!
But see, when we are rushing to get to what is next, to what seems better, more important, more fun, quicker, less frustrating, to barrel through any trials or failures, we miss what is right in front of us in the present. We miss the face of Jesus and the joy he gifts us when we are present to his presence, when we surrender to the struggles.
Even in the trials of life, the frustrations that mimic those of a toddler struggling to get their sock on and failing over, and over again, Jesus is there, pursuing us, waiting for us to be present, sit back and notice him. He is there when we continue to refuse his help, when we keep fighting to do it ourselves, and when we finally cry out in frustration and exhaustion, yep, he is there, ready and waiting. When we do finally sit back and let go of control, he shows us the joy that comes when we get it! In being present to his presence, he reveals our paths and brings us fullness of joy.
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.