The Ministry of Availability

I slipped out of bed in the wee hours of the morning. My night owl body rarely sees 5 a.m., but on this particular morning I had awakened and could not go back to sleep. I donned my robe and slippers and walked gingerly down the hall of our 100-year-old farmhouse placing each step right next to the baseboard—a technique I’ve perfected to minimize the creaks of our old wooden floor.

A desperate mom does desperate things to assure her children stay asleep, even if it means walking down the hallway as if she is balancing on two parallel tightropes. It felt as if there wasn’t enough of me to go around. With one child in preschool, one in grade school, one in junior high, and one in high school, I was trying to meet the diverse needs of our then four children in four different seasons of life.

I longed for quiet and craved solitude.

Once I made it to the main level of the house, I fixed myself a cup of tea, grabbed my Bible and nestled into my favorite recliner rocker. This was my time with my best friend…Jesus. I’d had “snacks” with Him, but I was craving a meal…non-interrupted time to talk.

Not more than two minutes went by before I heard the footie pajamas coming across the dining room floor. Austin peeked around the doorway and inquired in his sleepy, four-year-old voice, “Mommy, were you waiting for me?” You see, Austin and I had a morning routine of spending our first few minutes out of bed snuggling in the rocker and talking about our day. And he was just sure that’s what I was up so early for!

Jesus understands my life and my frustrations because He, too, was interrupted as He went about His daily activities.

I remember one story in the Bible when Jesus was traveling from Judea to Galilee. The trip took Him through a place called Samaria. “Jesus, worn out by the trip, sat down at the well. It was noon. A woman, a Samaritan, came to draw water” (from John 4:6-7). And from there a conversation ensued and Jesus spoke truth into the Samaritan woman’s life. Jesus was on his way to Galilee with a goal in mind when life happened and he had an opportunity to encourage someone along the way.

Then there was the time that Jesus was entering Jericho on his way to Jerusalem. He happened upon a tax collector named Zacchaeus who wanted so badly to see Him that he climbed a sycamore tree in order to catch a glimpse of this man he’d heard so much about. When Jesus passed by the tree, he called to Zacchaeus and told him that they needed to spend time together. Again, Jesus was goal-oriented, but life happened.

Ministry for Jesus was the person standing in front of Him: the woman at the well, a tax collector, someone who needed healing, someone who had a question for Him.

Ministry for you and for me is the same. It’s the people standing in front of us: our husband, our children, friends, neighbors, and even complete strangers at times.

I like to call what I do every day as a mom “the ministry of availability.” More often it feels like the “ministry of interruptions.” But my daily experiences are very similar to the experiences Jesus had when He walked upon this earth. He was in high demand. I’m in high demand. He was interrupted dozens of times a day. I’m interrupted dozens of times a day. He was asked a million questions. It feels like I’m asked a million and one questions a day! Talking with Jesus is like having a friend who understands!

Moms In Prayer was a life-saver for me when my kids were small. I learned so much about prayer and connecting with my Friend who understands as I sat around a kitchen table praying with fellow moms. I also learned I wasn’t the only one going through struggles or who’s kids were going through struggles.

More than anything, I learned some of my most important work is prayer, even in the midst of interruptions.

After a weary sigh, I lifted Austin into my lap and replied to his question, “Mommy is talking with Jesus, but you can sit here with me if you’d like. I love our snuggle time each morning.” Ministry for me is the person standing in front of me and at that moment it was my four-year-old son.

Author and speaker Jill Savage, is passionate about encouraging moms to embrace their imperfect life by partnering with God. She will be speaking at Unshaken Illinois November 3-4, 2017. Jill has authored seven books including her most recent bestselling release No More Perfect Moms. Jill and her husband, Mark, have five children, three who are married, two granddaughters and one grandson. They make their home in Normal, Illinois.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *