Nap time arrives at 1pm every day – this is when we enter the zoo. Sometimes it involves wrestling six, seven, and eight year olds into their beds and holding them there until they calm down enough to sleep. There’s often yelling, running, chasing, and hiding. But eventually the room grows quiet as one by one, with our help, they fall asleep.
In this quiet, God has spoken that what I sometimes consider a zoo is really holy ground. His presence dwells in that room. When I take the time to remember he’s there, he gives me eyes to see him. As I stroked a boy’s back one afternoon, I thought about how small my work is here. And so gently God reminded me of his greatest gift to us: Emmanuel, God with us. Jesus demonstrated through his ministry that our Father delights in sharing life with his children. His disobedient, messy, broken children. “And that’s what I want you to show each child here,” I felt him say to me.
“…turning the boys’ room into a sanctuary of his presence, hand-washing laundry into hours of praise, and time with his people into restful acknowledgement of his dwelling.”
It released the pressure that I have to see a difference in the work I do and the need to transform lives. Instead, simply dwelling with his broken, beloved children is enough. Jesus dwelled with his disciples and commanded us to do the same with him: “Abide in me, as I also abide in you” (John 15:4).
Lately as I’ve reflected on the meaning of God dwelling with us, I’ve realized the same God who told Moses to take off his sandals by the burning bush is now the one who walks with me. He has gifted us the Holy Spirit, who is one with God. This means that since the Holy Spirit lives in us, we are holy ground. Wow.
I need to take a minute to worship. The God of the universe, commander of the waves, delights in dwelling with his broken children. He dwells with me, with each teammate, teen, toddler, and tía. All of us have our scars and messiness but in his abundant love, he enters in. I’m learning to embrace this amazing truth. There are days when I look at the world, forgetting about the dwelling of our Father, and life quickly becomes tiring, frustrating, and pointless. But he gracefully reminds me again and again of his love and goodness in each moment – and that it will not change no matter how I feel. That is what moves me to worship, turning the boys’ room into a sanctuary of his presence, hand-washing laundry into hours of praise, and time with his people into restful acknowledgement of his dwelling.
As you dwell on the areas of your life that need to be embraced as holy ground, please keep Shontel and her team in your prayers. Pray that God would continue to fill them with his presence, so that they can bless those around them.