As I bend down to scoop yet another load out of the hamper, a fleeting yet desperate thought crosses my mind. It’s unending, so very unending.
I sort and gather. Wash and dry. Fold and put it all away. Yet there is never really time to celebrate because there is always more. More soiled clothes, damp towels, dirty everything. Without end.
I much prefer to conquer things, to sit back and smile at my achievements, to rest and bask in the glory of doneness.
But there are six of us in this house. Laundry reproduces without ceasing. Unless we reform to nudists (don’t think I haven’t momentarily considered it on the longest days), the laundry will never really be done.
As I stuffed another load into the wash the words began to ring in my mind a little bit. Unending. It feels familiar and yet uncommon as so few things are truly without end. Everything seems to be in limited supply – our time, our energy, our money, our moments with the people we hold dear. Our growing children are slowly letting go, our aging parents are gradually saying goodbye. All of it, in limited supply.
It is the hard things that feel truly unending.
The struggle to make ends meet feels constant. The effort to make marriage work is continual. Our battle with guilt or with brokenness, loneliness or pain from our past feels everlasting. And, of course, there is laundry. Why is it the hard things that seem unending?
I rotate another load to the dryer, thankful, at least, for these modern day conveniences and somewhere amidst my complaint, I recognize why these words feel so familiar. Constant, without end, everlasting; these words are Him.
Oh, give thanks to the Lord of lords! For His mercy endures forever. Psalm 136:3
Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love. Jeremiah 31:3
But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear Him… Psalm 103:17
The truest form, the only form, of unending, is Him.
What if the things that weigh us down point us most acutely to Him?
Those things that feel weighty, burdensome and exhausting, what if they are the very things that help us fully experience the trueness of His character?
In a messed up and broken world, what if the hardest hards are what give us the smallest glimpse, a gentle reminder, of the One who truly is continual, everlasting and forever?
In my finite mind, I’d like to be throwing fist pumps at empty hampers and conquered fears, but my heart is learning this: when burdens feel unending, this is the very place for me to experience the One who is truly everlasting.
And it is from this place that I find gratitude because even the endless battle with laundry can point me straight to Him.
Katie, I Choose Brave
Katie Westenberg is a wife, mother and writer who is passionate about living life bravely for the glory of our Creator and encouraging others to do the same. She enjoys country living in a small town, time spent with friends and family, and saying YES to adventure. She writes at ichoosebrave.com.