The Dreaded Pile

There’s a pile in our house that I cannot control, no matter how much time I invest. Even when I get to the bottom of the pile, the next hour or day it fills up again. It sounds like a great metaphor for the idols in our hearts, but it’s actually the dreaded ironing pile. You see, in Germany, a dryer is not an everyday appliance. In the States, a dryer is as important and normal as a refrigerator, but here it’s the exception to the rule. So while I do have a dryer (thank goodness!), it’s not as powerful as in the States and I have to iron all my husband’s work shirts, pants, jeans, and all our dresses for us girls. I’m sure others have a bigger pile than mine so I won’t compare, but for me the ironing is one of the chores I have a hard time getting a grip on.

The other day as I once again tackled The Dreaded Pile, I lamented to the Lord, Why did you have to make ironing? Why do I have to spend all these hours for something so small, so mundane? In fact, why are our lives filled so much with these small tasks just to survive? Why can’t we just move forward in our lives with the big and important things?!

As a homemaker, these issues are not new. To keep a newborn baby alive, we must do these small things around the clock. Feed, diaper, make bottles, and then all over again—in fact, we do that same cycle several times a day for months on end. But why? Why couldn’t they just arrive as normal human beings who could wipe their own tushies?! Instead, the helpless babies become kids who need to eat all. the. time. They fall and scrape their knees and they need to be potty trained learn to use a spoon and they need their nails clipped regularly. Small things all day long.

Over and over again, the Bible brings us back to the Israelites in the desert. Their first challenge after getting away from the Egyptians was the mundane task of making sure they ate everyday. We have to survive and part of that survival is food and drink. God made sure they were fed everyday. I only have a handful of mouths to feed and struggle figuring out what to feed them, but our kind God showed up and the Israelites woke up every morning with a miracle of His love on the ground. Not only food everyday, God made sure they had water to drink. He made sure their clothes and shoes didn’t wear out during the 40 years of wandering. He met their small needs and in that, showed His care for their well-being and for them.

Can it be that as I iron and feed these hungry mouths that I’m actually reflecting the kindness of God? Could it be that everyday that I faithfully fill another sippy cup I’m showing the children that I love them? Did God knit humans in a way that we cannot go 24 hours without eating, drinking, and sleep so that He could show us how He lovingly takes cares for us?

As much as I wish sometimes that my day was filled with “big” and “important” jobs, I remember these other tasks are also important and are part of a much bigger picture—His kingdom. And at the end of it all, the goal is to do our work faithfully in the measure of faith God has given us and to hear those blessed words when we finally join Him in the heavens, Well done, good and faithful servant.