Sometimes I feel left behind. Many times, especially when my kids were younger, I felt like my Pastor husband was on the front lines of ministry – going on trips, attending lunch meetings, responding to church member’s emergencies – while I was left back at home to ‘just’ take care of the kids and the household.
A few Sundays ago, a woman in our congregation shared her testimony during our morning worship service. Part of her testimony included my husband, Cyrus, coming to help her family in a time of need and ultimately leading her father, who was on his deathbed, into a relationship with Jesus. This was such wonderful news, and I am still praising God!
But, there’s this little part of me that wishes I could have been there too. I want to join Cyrus on the front lines. I want to be involved, to be used by God in incredible and life-changing ways. I want a piece of the action.
Maybe it’s a terrible confession to make, but this call to be a stay at home mom can feel insignificant at times; like I’m missing out on the really important things in life.
Though I am able to be involved in ministry more now than ever, I know that a huge part of my calling at this season is still primarily to focus on loving and serving my husband and family. Our culture may scoff at this, but I’m becoming more and more convinced that wives and moms have tremendous opportunity to make a difference in the kingdom of God, simple and as unseen as it may be.
So I’ll keep watching the baggage.
Go back a few thousand years with me and I’ll explain.
The Old Testament book of First Samuel recounts a select few conquests and failures of David and his mighty men. They spent years together battling, on the front lines, to protect what God had given the nation of Israel. On one particular occasion, while the men were away battling, the Amalekites raided David’s camp and took everything: livestock, gold and silver, women and children. So after one long, hard battle, the need arose for the men to go once more into battle – to retrieve what the Amalekites had stolen. God told him to go and promised David that every single thing taken from his camp would be recovered.
So it was time for battle once more. The problem was that many of these mighty men of David’s were exhausted. So David decided to leave 200, about a third, of his warriors to stay behind and guard the baggage.
When those who went to battle with David returned with all the recovered belongings, the fighting men decided that those who stayed behind didn’t deserve any of the recovered goods, except for their wives and children. It’s how we often function too. Finders, keepers.
But David recognized the truth: all that the men had won back in the battle was ultimately a gift from God. God was the great deliverer, not this rascally group of fighters. So David declared, “For as his share is who goes down to the battle, so shall his share be who stays by the baggage; they shall share alike.” (1 Samuel 30:24)
The baggage watchers played an integral role in the safety of the whole group. Someone needed to stay behind to care for the baggage – to make sure even more wasn’t stolen! David recognized this, and he also recognized that it is God who decides what each person receives.
EVERYONE is significant in His sight.
Are you starting to see the connection?
Yes, I suppose I am comparing my children to baggage…. but just go there with me for a minute.
I often succumb to the Enemy’s lie that I have to be on the front lines to be worthwhile, to deserve some sort of reward or recognition. That staying put, being a caretaker, is a waste of time and effort.
But the truth is that no single part in the kingdom of God is more valuable than another. No calling is more spiritual than another.
And the truth is that God gets to decide how each will be rewarded in eternity. Who is to say that a devoted wife and mother who seeks to love God by loving her family won’t be rewarded just as much, if not more than a missionary or a pastor?
Our Heavenly Father regards the attitudes of our hearts and our Spirit led actions, more than He assesses the product of our self-willed hands.
All of us are “baggage watchers” in some way. Maybe you are busy working behind the scenes in order that someone else will shine. Maybe you are in a season where, because of physical ailments, you actually can not do the things you wish you could. Maybe, like me, God has called you primarily to a support role for a season, rather than a front-lines action role.
If you feel stuck watching the baggage, remember that your role is still important. Your joyful “baggage watching” will be rewarded by the One who knows hearts, sees all and gives generously. Standing guard over the baggage, whatever that looks like for you, can have eternal impact. It can be another way we all Aim at Heaven.
Keep watching that baggage faithfully and joyfully for the Lord!