Monday, September 8, 2008

Stress, tests and hope

My children teach me more about God and his Grace than I ever imagined. And while many times, the lessons come in beautiful, moving ways. Sometimes, they are just painful.

This weekend was a painful one. We spent most of it urging, stressing, begging, one of our 11-year-olds to embrace obedience. It's a persistent problem. One that arises when this particular child's desires run counter to our's. Not big stuff mind you, this is a good kid. But rather like this: "Take out the dog." No response. "Take out the dog, now." No response. "I SAID TAKE OUT THE DOG RIGHT NOW!" "Why are you always yelling at me?!"

Get the picture? So this weekend as I screamed, yelled and stomped my feet, I felt the situation was hopeless. Never would I get through. Just when I thought we had reached a suitable solution, another situation would arise -- the need to unload the dishwasher, make a bed or something else equally displeasing to this child. And boom, we were at it again. Then finally this morning, a calm arrived, we had a long conversation -- me and all three 11-year-olds, just for good measure -- and an accord was reached. It is untested as of yet -- they left for school right after -- but I am hopeful.

But then guess what happened...I sat down to have my morning Quiet Time. As I worked through the Bible Study, I was directed to Proverbs 1: 22-26:

"If you had responded to my rebuke, I would have poured out my heart to you and made my thoughts known to you. But since you rejected me when I called and no one gave heed when I stretched out my hand, since you ignored all my advice and would not accept my rebuke, I in turn will laugh at your disaster..."

I had an instant picture of the rebuke -- since I had lived it all weekend. And an equally vivid picture of the rebuked, of the child that was rejecting God's wisdom and ignoring His advice...and the picture was not of my 11-year-old, but rather of me.

"Child, lay down your will and let me lead." No response. "Child, lay down your will now." No response. And then things go out of control, my plans run me ragged and leave no peace. "God, why are you always yelling at me?"


I've spent time with the One who can bring a peaceful accord this morning. It is yet untested...but I have His promise. And I am ever hopeful.


The Giraffe Head Tree said...

Been there, babe. But you handled it with much more maturity than me by heading to The One who grants us wisdom....or tries to. LOL! Hang in there. Kayla's 16 and I'm beginning to see twinges of maturity. Teeny, tiny twinges...

Mardi said...

awesome post. You could make that into a group bible study! Are you still doing that with Discovery?