“Now, how does this apply to you as My child?”
I needed to go grocery shopping, but I hadn’t gone yet. It was an early morning before an appointment for one of my children. They needed to eat, brush their teeth, and then we needed to leave. They didn’t like what we had to eat for breakfast. The options were cereal, toast, a granola bar, and/or yogurt. I thought those were amazing choices. I don’t remember what they wanted. Maybe they wanted the Poptarts we were out of; maybe they wanted a different cereal. I was thinking that maybe I would stop and get them something for breakfast simply because we were low on time. My generous contemplation of buying them breakfast on our way quickly escaped my mind based upon my child’s behavior. They were in the kitchen complaining about what we didn’t have and saying a loud, “We have nothing to eat.” They were actually angry which made me furious. My blood boiled! I went into the kitchen and gave them a lecture about being ungrateful. I added, “You know, many times your behavior determines what I do or don’t do for you – whether I reward you or simply bless you out of the blue. I was actually thinking – before your behavior – that we could just get something on our way because we were running out of time, but as soon as I saw and heard how you were responding to what we ‘didn’t have’ I quickly crossed that generosity off of my to do’s today.” I was so mad that I had to walk away and ‘breathe.’
Later that day, after the appointment, and after I dropped my child off at school, I was thinking of this incident and how mad it made me. I immediately thought of God and how He must feel when I act the same way. I was very humbled as I sat there and felt like an ungrateful child of God. “I know I’ve acted this way to you, God. I’m sure I’ve acted this way many times and you didn’t say anything to me, and if you did I was so busy complaining that I didn’t hear You. I’m so sorry for doing this to you, for breaking your heart with my ungratefulness. You’ve done so much for me, for my family – please forgive me for having an ungrateful attitude, and please help me not to behave that way towards you, and if I do, please be very loud and let me know that I am doing it.” I was a little scared that God would be “very loud” the next time I did it because I had just asked Him to be “very loud” the next time I did it, but I was leaving my prayer out there because my heart had been so hurt this morning, and I just wanted to make sure that God kept me alert in order that I may not break His heart in such a way. Since I’m an imperfect human, I’m sure I will break His heart, but I at least wanted to minimize the amount of times I did this. Only God could help me become aware of things I wasn’t even aware of in regard to ungratefulness. I knew I was putting myself out there, asking for discipline in this area of my life, but I had to do it.
Parents have this wonderful gift of learning about God from a very vulnerable place. Having children causes us to experience joy and pain and profound levels. These moments of joy and pain usually make us catch our breath because it’s too intense to endure. And yet, we do endure it. There is nowhere to run or hide from the intense joy and pain that a child brings. It’s amazing. I always consider the depth of God’s love for us during these moments. When I consider that He loves us more than we love our children and that He loves our children more than we do, I lose my breath and I cannot even comprehend it. I try, but I know I fail to comprehend the vastness of His love for us. Being a parent is a humble honor. It humbles me to my core and causes me to continually run to God for the assurance that only of His great love can provide. And God is so loving that He always takes the lessons I teach my children and says, “Now, how does this apply to you as My child?”
What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all thing? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died – more than that, who was raised to life – is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For you sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:31-38
Kristina Seymour loves to encourage and equip women through the Word and through community. She is the author of The Warrior Mom Handbook, The Warrior Mom Leadership Manual, and The Warrior Wife Handbook; they are available at Amazon.com. Kristina's Bible studies are for women who desire to live by faith in the midst of their everyday lives. She has learned that women can't survive on caffeine and animal crackers alone; women in the Word and in community are united and able to stand firm. To learn more about Kristina, please visit her recently founded Share & Company Publishing House http://seymourkristina.wix.