Tuesday, June 18, 2013

As Long as It is Called Today

I don't always recognize it, but there it is....the back-talking, "But mom, I did it because...," "Mom, don't ever say that to me again!"  And then the dreaded {sigh} -  you know, with the eyes making their way across the ceiling....that's when I realized, wow, I haven't been nipping this disrespectful behavior in the bud.

Hm.  When the "sigh" happened last night, I was sincerely trying to help my son; to listen and give him sage advice on how to remedy his vexing situation.  I became sad because I realized I needed to deal with the disrespect, in spite of his frustrations toward me.  To my discredit, it was well past bedtime, dinner was late that night, the routine: out the window the entire weekend, and well, tears began to flow (his too).

"Son, that earns you a reminder.....do you know why?"

(Through the tears) "But mom, you don't understand what I'm saying."

"Son, how did you just dishonor mommy?"

"Mom!"

"Son, when you went {insert sigh with rolling eyes demoed by mom} that was disrespectful and (I heard myself say) I can't let that seed take root in you."

It was in that moment the Spirit brought to mind Hebrews 4:7, "Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts."  Now, I know the writer of Hebrews is talking about the salvation of Israel, and their need for Christ's righteousness, but I realized that any sin (disobedience) we let "slide" hardens like a growing a cyst in our hearts.  It starts with a grain-of-sand-sized rebellion then each time the act is repeated it becomes a little bigger until is it pebble-sized, baseball-sized, grapefruit-sized....and worse, it feels normal!  We end up defending it as an entitlement and it becomes a treasured possession we daren't part with!  

I love Calvin's saying, 
"The human heart is a factory of idols."  



Jeremiah 17:9:
"The heart is deceitful above all things,
    and desperately sick;
    who can understand it?"

It was in hearing my own words, prompted by the Spirit reminding me of His word, that I was flooded with the realization that I have been seeing my own children as a "to-do" list for, well, perhaps their entire short little lives.  It is so much easier for me to just think that I can train them behaviorally as if they are a computer program that just needs the right code and then they will consistently act the way they are programmed.  Instead of having to repeat the same instructions each day, in many different ways, to admonish them and guide them down the path of life.  My narcissistic heart has just wanted to check off my list and move onto the next task, instead of looking at each of them as a created being, full of potential, full of personality, fearfully and wonderfully made, chosen from the the foundation of the world, yet, full of sin and full of the Spirit, Himself; needing patience, guidance, and love and little shove of confidence to boot!




I love these little guys!!!!  I can't let any seed of sin to take root, so help me, God!  And yet, I can't believe how hardened I've let my heart become toward all the wonder God has given me in raising lovers of Christ. And so, I look at my son, full in the face, full of love, full of heavy-heart, and prayerful, and am reminded of Proverbs 20:30,

"Blows that wound cleanse away evil; strokes make clean the innermost parts."  

 

Then, the Father wraps His arms around me and reminds me of the mystery of sanctification.  Firstly, mine.....ah, yes.....grace, grace, grace, grace, grace; then of my children's....and who am I?.....merely the instrument through which God's amazing grace flows into the minds and hearts of these little image-bearers entrusted to me. 

Yes, the blows of life wound, but they cleanse the innermost parts.  They keep those cysts from fatally wounding us spiritually!  Glory be to God!  He uses blows that wound us, to soften our hearts, to cleanse us, so that Today when we hear His voice, we may not harden our hearts!  We may persevere to the end!  We may enter into His promised rest. 

2 Corinthians 4:17
For this light momentary affliction 
is preparing for us an 
eternal weight of glory 
beyond all comparison.
sdg









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