Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Lessons from a Little Girl

Last week was busy.  We had Vacation Bible School at our church.  We were gone…late…every night.  We were busy and up early each day.  My kids were tired, and so was I.  We had some grumpy, selfish moments and quite a few discipline issues that had to be dealt with.  And in the middle of it all, my little girl taught me a lesson.

We are teaching Elaine this definition of sin: “Sin anything I think, say, or do that makes Jesus sad.”  One morning she had been particularly resistant to obeying me.  Long after the discipline was done and the hugs were given, she burst out with a question.

Nolan's 1st Birthday Party“Him sad, Mommy?”
“Is who sad?”
“Why is Jesus sad?”
“Because I a bery bad girl.”
“Yes.  It makes Jesus sad when we disobey, doesn’t it?”

She was still considering what her actions had done to Jesus.  They made Him sad.  Disappointed.  And then I realized that sometimes when I am resisting the Lord’s work in my own life, I don’t consider what my delay or my disobedience is doing to Him.  I am only thinking about myself.  But, Lord, I can’t handle this.  Or, Lord, I don’t want to do that.  The good news is this – once I get it right, and ask for His forgiveness, He has promised to forgive me (1 John 1:9).  He even goes so far as to remove my sin – as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12).  He doesn’t bring it up again, or throw it back in my face the next time I sin.  He wipes the slate clean and gives me a new start.

The very next day we again had obedience issues.  This time it was both of my kids.  I didn’t respond properly, and I lost my cool with them.  Though I had confessed my wrong to my kids, Elaine wanted to be sure I had “made up” with Jesus too.  We were praying together, and she was telling Jesus that she was sorry for her sin.  When we said “amen” she looked up at me and said, “We need pray and tell Jesus you a bad girl too, Mommy.”

I was again pricked in my heart.  She was tender.  She wanted the slate clean – for all of us.  She sinned.  I sinned.  Now let’s make it right and move on.  But so many times when I sin against the Lord I don’t want to humble myself and make things right.  I don’t want to admit that I was wrong.  So I continue in my sin and stubbornness.  I want to be tender to the Lord – so that at the first hint of sin, I make confession and restore the relationship.  So that there is never a break in our fellowship.

Kids don’t miss much, do they?  They see my hypocrisies and imperfections.  They see the real me – as I am – everyday…at home.  But they are tender too.  A prayer, an apology, a hug and everything is restored.  They accept me back again and go on as if nothing happened.

I’m thankful for my little girl’s tenderness, her bluntness, and her forgiveness.  But even more I’m thankful that God is infinitely tender as He constantly draws us closer to Himself.  I’m so amazed that He continuously picks me up when I fall, He forgives, He restores.  And I want to have that sensitivity too, so that I am always right with Him.

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