The Strength of the Ox

Valuing the mundane.

2/17/20231 min read

“Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox.” - Proverbs 14:4

This verse resonates with my soul. I may not have any cows, but I do have a toddler. And my “manger” is certainly not clean at the moment. Spilled milk, splashed water, Play-Doh in the carpet, fingerprints on the windows. At the end of some days it feels like all I did was clean up messes!

In these mundane tasks of motherhood, it’s so easy to become weary of the monotony. Is what I’m doing today making any difference? Do the duties I perform, day in and day out, even matter?

But what if, like in Proverbs, my perspective was changed? Instead of seeing my tedious chores as meaningless, what if I could see what abundant crop was grown by my labors?

Today, Peter splashed water all over the kitchen floor. But while he was splashing, he was learning the value of contributing to our family as he helped me do the dishes.

He wiped greasy fingerprints all over the living room windows that I still haven’t bothered to clean off. But the fingerprints are there because he was waving and smiling at passers-by - learning that a kind gesture brings joy and makes friends.

This labor is an investment. These tasks are stewarding a tiny, eternal soul that will impact the world someday with the strength of an ox.

Without these toddler-hood days, my home would be clean. But the abundant crops that would be missed by the emptiness are immeasurable. So I thank God for the messes, the splashes, and the fingerprints. Lord, help my labors, however small, bring glory to your Kingdom!