It happens more often than I would like to admit. I wake up, not with praises on my lips, but a sigh. The dishes need doing, the toddler needs changing, the lunch needs packing, the Bible needs opening… When these needs greet me in the morning (especially on a Monday morning), I’m afraid I often answer them with a sigh.
Some days I don’t feel equal to the tasks in front of me. Some days I want to roll over and put the pillow over my head and tell all the needs to go away. (Ok, lots of mornings I feel this way.) These are the mornings when I need to preach. But not in the way you might be thinking.
My initial instinct is to preach to the rest of my family. “You really should have packed your lunch last night… have you not started the breakfast dishes yet?… am I the only one in the house who can change a diaper?… we all need to share more of the responsibilities around here…” Do those sermons sound familiar?
These sermons are ready on my tongue before I even get out of bed (and, believe me, I have practice delivering them with passion). But these are not the sermons I need to preach. I don’t need to preach to my family. I need to preach to myself. But what do I need to hear on these need-filled, discouraging Monday mornings?
I need to hear the gospel. I need to remind myself that Jesus has already met the needs of everyone in my house in his perfect work on the cross. Because of his death and resurrection, everyone in my house can go to Jesus and find the deepest needs of their hearts met in him. Including me.
As I preach the gospel to myself, I realize that I don’t have to perform perfectly today in order to gain God’s approval because I already have God’s unwavering approval through Jesus. I don’t even have to get it all done. Jesus is greeting the day with a smile, supremely confident in is ability to handle it all. He is extending his hand to me, inviting me to get out of bed and walk with him through whatever the day holds. I can place my little hand in his big one, pull back the covers, and start the day.
Sigh. Now I sigh not from discouragement, but from relief. I still need to change the diaper and do the dishes, but I am not alone. Everything doesn’t depend on me. Now that’s a sermon worth listening to.