Give Us This Day…

“But Jesus answered and said to him, “Permit [it to be so] now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he allowed Him.” Matthew 3:15

This verse is easy to pass by to get to the actual baptism of Christ, but I linger here this morning, it’s beauty striking me; the Spirit holding me captive to it.   What is it about this verse that is so rich?  What is the Spirit saying?

Do you I know what is proper and when it is proper to ‘fulfill all righteousness’?

Jesus knew precisely what He should be doing and precisely when He should be doing it.  Like the earth knows when and where to spin in it’s orbit, allowing for just the proper distance for life to thrive on earth.  Jesus knows what is proper and when it is proper to ‘fulfill all righteousness”.   There is a time and a season for everything under heaven.

Perhaps another time wouldn’t have been proper, perhaps another place or another person other than John, perhaps Christ would not have said these words.  Christ humbled Himself not only to be baptized by a man, but also by subjecting Himself to time and space, God’s natural contraints upon man.

I don’t know that I’ve ever thought of my various activities throughout the day as ‘necessary to fulfill all righteousness’.   Yet, each one, at the proper time, is just that.

Yesterday my dear husband was sweating up a storm working on our rotting garage.  The foundation of our 1915 garage has been completely covered by years of built up ground, buring the foundation which has the effect of rotting the wood wherever the dirt touches.  My husband has been digging a massive trench around the garage to expose the foundation, and it is truly hard work.

He kept telling me not to help him but to do what I need to do in the house with the kids.  Two days ago, I did as he wanted and stayed inside doing my regular duties, but I can testify that though I was not idle, it still didn’t feel right or good.  It felt improper.

In retrospect, I am sure that I should have said something like this to my hardworking man when he told me not to help him,

“Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.”

Then, I should have gathered the kids and we could have all helped.

It is 8:45 a.m. right now and I have finished my devotions and I have finished my response.  Though I didn’t get to the day’s entire prayer list, I know I can continue to come before the Lord throughout the day while driving or cleaning, or for a quick 5-minute Scripture pick-me-up.  I can now confidently move ahead with the duties the day offers.  The Spirit has shown me what is fitting and proper.  I am to spend an hour or two on that garage, blessing my husband.

If I choose to ignore this knowledge, choosing instead my own spinning thoughts of ‘but this, and I need to do that’, I will lose my step with the Spirit, my conscience pricking me each minute I do not turn, and eventually, as the day dwindles, my mind will be ever more racing and anxious, having accomplished only my own agenda while ignoring the Spirit’s promptings, resulting in anxious thoughts, bitterness toward the constraints of time and duty, and a sense of meaninglessness of what I did accomplish.

No.  Not today.  Today is my opportunity to capture each moment of the day, by asking, ‘What now Holy Spirit?’  ‘What’s next?’.   If it is not terribly obvious, then to my knees in stillness and prayer, and I know the Spirit will guide.  What is fitting and proper for this moment and this place, to fulfill all righteousness, Lord?

So, what do you think?