by Aszia Pearson
Let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works
— Hebrews 10:24
“iCloud storage full.” Every time I pick up my phone, I see this notice. In addition to telling me “your phone is from the stone age, and you are about 3 software updates behind the times and why won’t you just pay for more storage already,” it also says, “hey, you’ve taken one too many pictures!”
But, as a new mother, I can’t help it! The urge to capture every developmental milestone of my young daughter is almost irresistible (stewarding my technology use, is another blog post)!
Sometimes, I flick the camera open and snap so fast, all I get is a blurry impression of her. Call it abstract art, maybe? But, the best photos I have are the ones where I have paused long enough to use the handy zoom and focus feature, you know, when you wait a beat to let the camera lens catch up to you, and then click the yellow box to tell the Apple-robot-magicians, “this is what I’m going for”? (Stay with me Android users!)
Sometimes that zoom and focus feature is just what we need in life to give us a clearer vision of God and of ourselves.
Zoom out… pause… selah… wait just a beat… consider the heavens—the vast expanse of God’s majestic creation. Zoom in… click the yellow box… and refocus on your circumstances with a clear view of who God is… what are we that He would be mindful of us? David explores this question in Psalm 8. He zooms out, to zoom in. In considering God, he finds humility, peace, and focus.
God’s Word gives us a lot to consider. Consider who He is, what He has done, what He is doing, and what He will do. Consider your calling. Consider one another. (Psalm 24:8; Ecclesiastes 7:13; 2 Peter 3:8-9; Revelation 1:7; Hebrews 3:1-2; Philippians 2:3)
These “considerations” orient our hearts and minds to face our circumstances with faithfulness instead of fuzziness.
As a new parent, it’s easy to navel-gaze and fixate on the mess—the sleepless nights and the petty stresses that feel so permanent and big. This paints a blurry picture of my reality. It’s like the hyper-focused images on my phone, where I snapped too fast and all I got was a picture of a little fist? foot? Who can even tell?
The real picture is this: I have been given a gift in my child and a calling as a mother, and yes, a current set of hardships in my life (not the least of which is those sleepless nights), but this time is short and all I’m meant to do right now is savor the sweet stuff, and then faithfully bend over to pick up the mashed peas off of the ground and trust these little acts of faithfulness—of simply doing what is before me with Him in view—are the very moments God will play back for me when He says, “well done.”
In our ministry at pureHOPE we see this tendency to hyper-focus and forget to consider God, all the time. Parents and disciple-makers with natural and valid concerns over their loved ones become hyper-vigilant, trying to restrict every tech device, safety-wrap their children, and prevent every heartache. We fret, we fear, we grasp for control, and sacrifice relationship on the altar of panic.
I hear the disciple John’s voice saying, “Beloved…” Pause. This disciple whom Jesus loved, this disciple who followed Jesus and wrote to us about what it means to follow Him saying, “Beloved, now we are children of God…” Though disciple-makers, first disciples. Though parents, first children. Children of God who are called, “Beloved.” John follows this reminder of our identity, with a reminder of our hope, “when He appears, we will be like Him,” then a reminder of our simple calling which is really, an overflow of this hope, “everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.” (1 John 3:1-3)
When we consider and take into account this foundational truth—we are His, our hope is certain, and our calling is to follow faithfully day by day—we can recenter and approach whatever is in front of us with courage and steadfast resolve.
And for the parents and disciple-makers around the world who are raising the next generation in a sexualized, digital age, the real picture is this: God is still God. Nothing you or your loved ones have done, are doing, or will do, is shocking to Him. He is present. He is available. And He is always with you as you bend your aching back to pick up the pea-mash of your life off of the super-cute-rug-you-would-prefer-not-to-subject-to-pea-mash. Really, He’s with you right now in whatever the mess is.
Our theme at pureHOPE for 2019 is consider. We are especially “considering” all the ways we can encourage you in the good work you’re doing as a mom, dad, aunt, uncle, coach, mentor, leader, disciple-maker! We have some pretty exciting projects in the works to help our pureHOPE community remember the Lord our God, because when we consider Him who was faithful and will continue to be faithful, it frees us up to be faithful in the day to day (Hebrews 3:1b-2a).
Here are some resources to equip you in your pursuit of purity and leadership of others:
Quest: Parenting in a Sexualized Culture Study + Leader’s Guide
NOW AVAILABLE IN SPANISH! La Misión: Criar Hijos en una Cultura Sexualiza