It’s not the hour of power, that’s for sure.
It’s more like the crazy hour, or the insane-mama-hour. Or we’ll just plead it’s the hour of *temporary* insanity.
It’s that hour before dinner when everyone is whining and hungry and mama is trying to get food on the table without tripping on the kid underfoot and scalding someone on the way to the sink with the pot of boiling water.
The hour when kids are supposed to be doing homework but they’re sword fighting instead and someone gets hurt and the dog pees on the floor and the unfolded laundry is being hurled from the couch where you dumped it and is getting dangerously close to that pile of pee and the noise level is deafening and you’ve just about had. it. up. to. here.
Yeah. That hour.
If parenting means wrestling with demons, that hour has to be significant in the battle. That’s the hour of the day Jesus told His disciples to “come with Me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”
Sounds so, so good.
Except when they got there, there was no rest to be had. A huge crowd had beat feet ahead of them and were waiting for Jesus and the disciples to arrive. Demanding and clamoring for attention.
Yeah. Sounds like battle hour.
It was crazy late in the day and the disciples were in a remote location where resources were scarce and needs were great… and they were just plumb exhausted and fresh out of patience.
They had nothing left to give.
And Jesus looks at them and says, “You give them something to eat.”
The disciples were asked …by Jesus… to give a huge demanding crowd what they could not possibly come up with at a time they most needed rest and food themselves. Really? Is this really what Jesus expects of us?
We can plead the need for a break or a vacation or a retreat or a conference and yes, we need self care but listen church: sometimes we’ll be desperate to get alone with Jesus and desperate for rest and we are doing everything we know to get it but the demands are still there and the people are too and this is still war. We can’t get to that quiet place with Jesus… and that’s okay.
Because here’s the thing. Jesus has this little plan in store. Take heart! Remember it was His suggestion to get alone with Him and get some rest and go to that place in the first place. He’s got something pretty amazing He wants to accomplish but it does require your participation.
Don’t check out yet because that crazy hour isn’t a hindrance to getting what you need most, it’s the means to getting what you need most.
It all starts with a question. In that remote, demanding, exhausting place, Jesus asks, “What do you have?”
“Quick, go and check,” He told them.
This question forces us to do a quick inventory of our resources and discover when it seems we have absolutely nothing, we do have something.
No, the disciples didn’t have enough bread and fish to feed 5,000, but they did have five loaves of bread and two fish.
And even though we don’t have enough love and patience and wisdom and strength for the needs of right now, we do have something. We have His presence.
“What do you have?” Jesus asks.
He hasn’t left us as orphans.
We have grace for the moment.
If, in the moment of need we can name our grace and see the small God has already provided us, we set ourselves up for a miracle. Those “least likely to succeed” moments of your day? Are the very ones He does the miraculous in.
Because He takes that little bit of grace that we call to mind, that we bring to Him, and He multiplies it.
Maybe it’s grace to offer a smile. Maybe it’s grace to make a phone call or get out of bed or forgive a spouse or pop the exercise video in.
If we can just acknowledge the small grace, the provision at hand!
And here’s the thing: Grace rarely looks sufficient. It looks small. It’s easy to overlook. Five loaves and two fish in the face of thousands of people? Looked downright ridiculous.
But it was enough.
We need to know when it comes to grace, appearances are deceiving. It doesn’t look like it will be enough. It doesn’t feel like it’s going to be enough. But the small of grace is always sufficient.
There in that hour of insanity I hear the Savior say, “What do you have?”
And I say I’ve got a splitting headache and a messy house and a trembling heart and a sinful attitude and… I’ve got grace.
I’ve got grace to gently steer my child out of the kitchen while I finish dinner and look! It’s multiplying into grace to calmly ask a kid to clean up the dog pee… and grace to redo laundry and grace to receive forgiveness for failing and grace to believe again.
There’s always grace for the moment.
Small grace, yes. But sufficient grace to feed the multitudes.
Related: Christian mothering is spiritual warfare. Parenting Means Wrestling Demons on Desiring God.