Thursday, June 13, 2013

I Am A Besieged City

I'm not much for war movies.

My husband is a veteran so I support and am completely in awe of the sacrifice that soldiers undergo to protect this country. Buuuuut let's just say, I am not the type to seek out gut-wrenching war stories with a bag of popcorn.

My husband however can't help himself if a war biopic or Band of Brothers episode happens to be playing in the same room. I've noticed if there is more than one bombing in the first thirty minutes or the title revolves around a Black Hawk going down or some private named Ryan being saved-- our evening will be temporarily highjacked. 

Me? I would rather watch Pride and Prejudice (the Kiera Knightly version) for the bazillionth time. “What are men to rocks and mountains?” Exactly.   

So you can imagine my surprise when reading Psalms in the Reach Church Summer Reading Plan that battle terminology sprung from the page like a sniper hitting me dead between the eyes.

In Psalm 31: 21-22  I found this love bomb.

21 Blessed be the Lord,
    for he has wondrously shown his steadfast love to me
    when I was in a besieged city.
22 I had said in my alarm,[a]
    “I am cut off from your sight.”
But you heard the voice of my pleas for mercy
    when I cried to you for help.

The word besieged caught my eye. As most words do that can't be shrunk into text slang these days. I knew it had something to do with being taken over, but I decided to look it up to dig a little deeper. And here's what I found:

First, besieged is a transitive verb. This means that the word itself is characterized by or involving transition. It means:

1. To surround, so as to give up.
2. To crowd around; hem in.
3. To harass or importune, as with requests.
4. To cause to feel distressed or worried. 

Hmm, does this sound like motherhood or what? You and I have both found ourselves in a besieged city a time or two. 

Do you feel surrounded to the point of giving up? (Sometimes the mass of toys on the floor, in the yard, behind my bed, and in the toilet pushes me to the point of wanting to throw an entire bag of flour on the kitchen floor- just because I WANT to make a mess too. I am so mature.)

Do you ever feel crowded? (Our 9 week old daughter is still sleeping our room, ahem, sometimes our things are a little crowded these days.)

Do you feel harassed by requests? (Mommy, apple juice. Mommy, where is daddy? Mommy, I want honey bees. Mommy, hold me. Mommy, I want to eat my Popsicle with a fork. )

Do you feel distressed or worried? (Dear Lord, I want to protect this child was such fierceness as to protect him from everything. I worry about his health. I worry about his temper. I worry about his development. I worry about his eating habits. I worry, worry, worry...)

A besieged city.

Even then beloved, you are heard. 

Cry out, you will be heard. Pray over your children day and night, you will be heard. Share your most overwhelming joys, you will be heard. Release your darkest fears, you are heard. 


Motherhood is war. And that can be alarming. Wasn't this supposed to be an easy job? Wasn't this supposed to be all cuddles and coos? 

Conversely, being a godly parent means we have signed up for a life of service. Much like soldiers who give their lives for this country, we are called to give our lives as servants to Christ. He is intoxicated with the heart of a servant. Nothing is more beautiful to him.

So why doesn't it feel good? Why are there days when whiskey and the idea of a long vacation in the Bahamas dangle dangerously in our peripheral? Among broken crayons, chalk dust, dirty laundry, and teetering sanity-you are loved steadfastly. He will show you how much he loves you if you just ask him to.

The lie about mothering young children is that being in a besieged city is the destination. It's not. Its the transition to a life with children whom you've truly invested blood, sweat and tears into. It's a million little brushstrokes that will eventually paint the peaceful portrait of how Jesus loves us and through us.

There is a real enemy that wants to steal your joy as a mother. There is a real enemy that wants to tell you that the work you are doing doesn't mean anything- or that someone else could do it better. 

You are the most important city in your child's life- and believe it or not, being a besieged one is what the Planner intended.

 We're in this together,

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful description of the how "struggles" are necessary and yet beautiful in the heart of a servant...I could relate, even though I am not in the stage of life you're happens to all of us at every stage...Thanks for sharing


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