RACHEL CRADDOCK|CONTRIBUTOR If I am being completely honest, laundry is my least favorite household chore. Like Mary Poppins, I can find an element of fun in most jobs that must be done around the house. But when it comes to laundry, I long for a fairy godmother’s power to simply swoosh away the piles of dirty clothes. Being a mom to four means my laundry basket is always full and sock-matching seems never-ending. We have forty-two pairs of socks in a week’s worth of laundry; the odds of finding all eighty-four socks in the same week are slim. In the new heavens and the new earth, when Christ returns to redeem and restore all things, I have a holy anticipation that socks will no longer go missing. I am convinced sock causalities must have something to do with the Fall. In my flesh, laundry is a begrudging chore. In my flesh, I can’t see laundry rightly as important kingdom work. When I focus my eyes on the earthly things I can see—the piles, the baskets, and oh-so-many socks—I easily become overwhelmed.
ASHLEY HALES|GUEST As a family, we needed to see something grow, to learn to care for green and growing things, to get our hands in the dirt. We needed a small starting place: a project that wasn’t about what we could do but what we could watch. So my husband built a custom cedar planter for our patio. Then one Saturday we loaded up our four children into the minivan and headed to the nursery. While my children wanted berry bushes and fruit trees, we settled on things that would fit in our raised bed planter: a few starter vegetables and herbs, tomatoes, celery, cucumber, basil, dill, rosemary, cilantro, and mint. We put in rocks for drainage and fresh soil. We lined up our few small plants and made holes with our shovels. We patted down the earth. My daughter eagerly hoisted the green plastic watering can and watered each plant diligently. We told our children that growing things takes time. We’d learn to care for the plants together; we’d practice patience. Within days, the cucumber vines spilled over the edge and we noticed the popping yellow flowers. A few more days and little cucumbers dotted along the edges of vines. Each morning my daughter would head to the planter, water the vegetables, and run up the stairs excitedly showing me with her fingers how much her cucumber had grown. Some mornings when we discovered the leaves turning colors or a hole in a big green leaf, her joy would be stifled for a minute but then the refrain: “But Mama, we have more cucumbers, still!” We watched and waited, and something grew from nothing. Cucumbers were a miracle and waiting for them was magical. But as we grow older, waiting feels like an inconvenience or affront. We take out our phones when we’re waiting in the grocery store aisle for two minutes. We listen to podcasts on our commute. We leaf through magazines at the doctor’s office. Waiting leaves us with a silence we don’t know what to do with. Impatience with waiting is nothing new. Like the antsy Israelites who built a golden calf because they were tired of waiting for Moses to come down from the mountain, we don’t wait well. Waiting evidences our limited autonomy and knowledge. We are subject to time and to conditions beyond our control....
How many people have you heard say, “I just want 2020 to be over?” I’m sure you, like me, have heard several people say this at some point this year. Perhaps you have even said it yourself. But is this what we should be saying? There’s an instructive verse in Psalm 90 that speaks to this very sentiment, “So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom” (Ps. 90:12). If there’s one thing you and I need, it’s wisdom, so I want to look briefly at Psalm 90. Our Dwelling Place Psalm 90 begins with a confession of faith rooted in trust, “Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God” (Ps. 90:1-2). If anyone could speak of God as his dwelling place it would be Moses, on behalf of the nation of Israel. Long before the days of the temple where God would dwell in the midst of His people, the Lord took up residence by way of the tabernacle and the fire by night and cloud by day. Moses, who led the people out of 400 years of slavery in Egypt and 40 years in the wilderness, could speak of God as their dwelling place. He looked back through the corridors of time and recognized God had met with Abraham in a tent and Adam in the garden and proclaimed that from generation to generation the Lord had been faithful to His promise to dwell with His people. The same one who penned the account of creation in Genesis 1-2 penned the beginning of this psalm too, recognizing the first great act in the story of salvation. Indeed, Psalm 90 tells the big story of the Bible by taking us from creation, to the fall, to redemption, to consummation. If we are going to number our days wisely, we must live in light of this big story. John tells us that Jesus came and tabernacled among us, revealing God’s grace and truth, which is the fulfillment of God’s promise to dwell among His people (John 1:14). Yet we still wait for the consummation of the promise when we will dwell with the everlasting God in the new heaven and new earth, praising Him for eternity. In the meantime, be encouraged. No matter what circumstances the Lord takes us through, He is our dwelling place...
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