This spring, God gave our family a glorious opportunity to serve in an unexpected way.
It all happened quite suddenly, and before I knew it, there was a precious pink bundle in my lap. We rocked, we prayed, and we loved. We didn’t sleep much.
We made phone calls, had meetings, and did research. We constantly sought God’s best for this wee one and her family.
Day after day, I fell wearily into bed hoping to catch a few hours of sleep before a night-time feeding. I’d see unfolded laundry piled up nearby, reminding me of all I hadn’t done. I knew the dishes were waiting downstairs. I couldn’t remember what my family had eaten but I was pretty sure there were no vegetables involved. I hadn’t checked email, much less answered any inquiries. Bills stacked up on the counter-top and the registration forms for my kids’ prom were threatening to become past due.
Each night, I was very tempted me to say, “Wow, I didn’t get one thing done today.” But God stopped me, convicting me that was a lie the enemy wanted me to believe.
The truth was, I’d changed diapers, made bottles, and rocked, held and loved on a baby all day long. I’d shown my boys how to hold a baby, and maybe even how to lay down their lives for others in the midst of crisis.
I’d made phone calls and advocated for the future of this dear one. I’d gone to a WIC appointment. I’d picked up formula. I comforted, and cooed, and gave tummy time.
Most of all, I’d prayed.
Friends, there is nothing, not one thing, more productive than prayer.
In the midst of loving people, standing in the gap for those who have no voice, and serving the “least of these,” we must never look at the un-done chores and feel as though we’ve been unproductive.
A clean house means nothing when there are hurting and lost people in our midst. A scrubbed kitchen is meaningless when there are little ones to rock and faces to be wiped. Folded laundry is ridiculously overrated when there are naked to clothe and hungry to be fed.
As soon as my arms were free, I baked and I cooked and I washed and I typed. I scrubbed and I organized and I emailed. I felt so productive! I had accomplished so much! My check-list was complete and my chores were diminished!
But the truth had won out. A check-list is just a check-list. Chores are just chores. The true definition of productivity is love.
Loving people is always productive, whether it looks like a home-cooked meal in a clean kitchen or a store-bought pizza on paper plates. God’s love wins. When we listen, obey, serve, and trust, we are productive. When we let the Holy Spirit live through us, when we surrender and let God work, we have done the exact thing God had planned for us to do. This is perfect productivity.
Did you love people today? Then you were productive. Did you pray and trust God today? Then you chose the very best. Did you let God work while you listened to His voice and responded in obedience? You have been incredibly productive.
Put love on your list and check it off daily. You’ll be amazed at how productive you become.
P.S. I wrote and scheduled this post back in April after we’d been caring for a 3-month old girl. Just a few days later, God made us foster parents to a four-year old boy. It’s amazing how God prepares His people! I have to fall back on this Truth every day as I care for this little boy.