My heart leaped in my chest. She chose ME. I asked my 2 year old Olivia if she wanted to watch Curious George or come help mommy sweep the kitchen.
Let’s be clear. Olivia and her little red broom are not really helpful (observe the empty dustpan). She spends most of her time wildly sweeping the crumbs I’ve gathered back under the cupboards.
I didn’t ask her to help me sweep so that she could clean the kitchen for me. It was an invitation to spend time with me. I hope that as I tell her aloud how to start in the corners and make little piles she will figure it out by the millionth time, years from now. I hope that she learns a heart of working hard with a smile (and loud music). Mostly I just think it’s adorable when she uses the teeny red broom I gave her to try to be just like mommy.
Then it clicked. I am “Daddy’s little helper” in the Kingdom of God.
I get confused about doing God’s work because of the analogy of workers in a field that is used in the Bible. It feels like I am busting my heart out sweating in the field, accomplishing rows of planting or harvesting, while the “master” sits in his big comfortable house. I think that I am working hard to show what I have accomplished to God one day in heaven. I think that I am a warrior, a worker, a woman to whom much has been given and who bears a great responsibility of stewardship.
Nothing could be further from the truth. I am a baby with a tiny broom.
My calling to the work of God is an invitation to be with Him, to learn from Him, to work alongside Him as he accomplishes great things. He uses another analogy about working in the kingdom of God that explains it beautifully.
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke on you and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and my load is not hard to carry.”
When a young ox was being trained, they would put him on the yoke of an older more experienced ox, to walk along side him. By being tied to the other ox, he would learn how to do the work by doing it. God isn’t putting a light yoke on us, He is inviting us to join Him like an ox joins another closely on a yoke. He promises that He is strong and knows what He’s doing, so it will be easy for us.
I know it’s oxen, but it’s pretty intimate isn’t it? It looks incredibly annoying for the strong ox to have the young ox pulling the opposite direction. I can hardly believe the God of the universe has invited me to be tied together with Him. To learn from Him by shadowing closely. To walk along side of Him as He in His strength and wisdom accomplishes great things, and to some how think of ourselves as a “team”.
I couldn’t imagine how God would WANT to do this, until I look at my little Livs holding up her empty dustpan so proudly.
It’s so unhelpful, but so beautiful. I’m so thankful for the time I get to spend with her. I appreciate her effort and am incredibly proud of her- not for her accomplishment or contribution to cleaning the kitchen, but despite the fact that there was none.
God doesn’t want us to work FOR His kingdom. He wants us to work WITH Him, with the tools He gave us. To learn, to build relationship, and to try.
Are you working for God or with Him? Think of the ways you are leading, serving, or volunteering. You’ll know if you are doing the work with God because your relationship with Him will be getting deeper in trust, dependence, and mindset- not to mention He will be doing the heavy lifting!
Do you feel further from God than you would like to? He is inviting you to walk closely with him in his work. Pray and ask Him to show you where you can work together with Him so that you can spend meaningful time with Him, learn from Him, and grow closer in your relationship. Consider how you can act in love alongside Him.
Daddy’s working on a BIG and BEAUTIFUL project, girls. Let’s “help” Him out.