When our youngest went to Peru on a month-long mission trip right before high school, I decided I would take advantage of her absence to clean her room. Thoroughly. As in a full-scale geological excavation.
I found a full laundry basket, only it was stratified with layers of clean, dirty, clean, etc. I unearthed underwear from elementary school, and (if I recall rightly) a hard, green mass under the bed reputed to be petrified Jello—lime, I think.
I’ve never been much of a perfectionist when it comes to housekeeping, obviously, but I do like at least a sanitary dwelling. Children, however, do not come with a self-cleaning feature; quite the opposite really. They arrive wet and slimy and continue to be so for many years.
But…I can’t imagine my life without my children.
“Without oxen a stable stays clean,
but you need a strong ox for a large harvest.”
Sacrifice is just an important part of life, at least of the abundant life Jesus calls us to. Inconvenience is to be expected if you hope to make progress in anything. And with love, there will be both sacrifice and inconvenience…and pain.
In fact, I think there are times in which love is defined by pain, and a willingness to endure the pain, to wield it skillfully making that very love that causes it stronger than the pain itself. Like Love that died on a cross to impute that strength to us.
And messy as it is at times, love is still the strongest force in the Universe, and pulls in the greatest harvest.
Proverbs 14:7 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.