His pleasure is not in the strength of the horse,
Nor his delight in the legs of a man;
The Lord delights in those who fear him,
Who put their hope in his unfailing love.
“That’s gonna leave a mark!” It’s what we say when we run into something or see someone else get hit or injured in some way. It seems I utter those words daily as I run into the dresser or the coffee table. My legs bear the brunt of my clumsiness. Several years ago, I broke my leg while roller skating at my nieces birthday party. In the months I spent recovering with pins and plates holding my leg together, Psalm 147:10-11 became my life verse. At the time, it was very relevant to the leg situation. There was no delighting in my legs at that time…I wasn’t allowed to use either of them. It was an obvious application. As time goes on, though, this passage has gained deeper meaning.
I stayed home with my kids. I am very thankful that I was afforded that privilege. I wouldn’t change those years for anything. The world doesn’t admire stay-at-home moms as much as the kids do, however. The kids don’t really admire them either, until they’re grown. It’s a thankless and tiring job. There is a lot of sitting on the sidelines…literally and figuratively. While I was sitting on the sidelines of a soccer field, other moms were climbing the career ladder, gaining notoriety, making a mark. Every time I tried to do something “bigger” I felt God telling me to stop…then the verse. Sometimes it read something like this: “I do not take pleasure in your accomplishments or talents, I delight in your obedience.” Sometimes I would argue, “But you gave me the gifts, I need to use them! NOW!” Didn’t he realize the train of notoriety was leaving the station and I was stuck doing the dishes? Did he really want me to miss out? I finished the dishes and read my kids books and went to countless track meets and band concerts. I wasn’t unhappy to do it, but I wanted more. I wanted to make a difference in the world. I wanted to be somebody. I wanted to have an answer to the question “What do you do?” that didn’t make me shrink with anticipation of the response, which was usually degrading to housewives and moms in some way. The verse reminded me that what was important to God was not my title, but my obedience.
Now that my kids are grown and gone, I am able to pursue the other things that my heart has longed to do. Things I believe that God put in my heart to do…eventually. I realize that I’ve made a mark in the lives of my kids...in my marriage…by doing what God called me to do when he gave me my children. And really, I do not make the mark at all. God does. His love reaches through me to touch the lives of others. I still have longings of mark making…and so I write. My life verse speaks loud and clear… in a new way..
My pleasure is not in the things you do, or the way you write, I delight when you trust me and cling to my unfailing love.