I was recently given two glimpses of how God may feel.  The glimpses came from my children.  Image

I told you recently that Nathan is a recovering minecraft addict.  Well, I started the weaning process a few weeks ago and he handled it very well.  He can now play in the mornings before his alarm goes off at 7:45 (yes, my children stay in their room until the alarm goes off and yes, I am spoiled) and he can play either at rest time or in the evening, but not both.  The other day he was in his room for rest time and he told me he wasn’t going to play because he wanted to play that evening with his daddy.  When I came into his room after rest time was over, he told me, “I’m sorry mom, I didn’t want to play minecraft, but I did.”  

Ah, Temptation.  

He then said, “Mommy, Next time, I am in rest time and don’t want to play minecraft, will you take the ipod out of my room?”  

In that instance, I felt proud.  Not at something I had done, but at something my child was figuring out.  A life lesson that he would surely learn over and over again – the hard way.  But he figured out that he could beat sin, by removing temptation. 

Temptation. Flee. Every tiny victory counts. 

 “…But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” (1 Timothy 6:11, 12 ESV)

The other example, made me sad.  And it came from Lydia.  

She was outside playing with a friend. I passed by them and saw that they had done something they shouldn’t have done.  They picked a cilantro plant out of the garden.  I looked at them and asked about it, they made an excuse.  They lied.  I told them very matter-of-factly do not pull anything out of the garden! Not a flower, not a plant, not a vegetable.  They said okay.  And I believed them.  

About 10 minutes later, I walked back outside and saw them walking by with 10 carrots in their hands, with the roots fresh from the ground.  Really?  Didn’t we just talk about this? And it made me sad.  I was sad, that I had trusted that Lydia would obey, but lied.  I was sad that she knew it was wrong, but did it anyway.  

I saw a glimpse of how God must feel grieved by our sins.  How he is perfectly loving and perfectly just all at the same time I do not understand.  How he has forgiven all of our sins, past, present and future, how it is finished once and for all, I believe, but he must feel a tinge of sadness over sin.

But so often, I do the same thing.  Promise to have more patience.  Promise to focus on God throughout the day and then forget He is here.  And it made me realize God must feel similar when we disobey, break promises.  Sure he forgives us, has forgiven us.  And He certainly doesn’t love us any less.    

Just as these experiences as a parent don’t change my love for my children, even more so, God’s love is unending and unconditional.

“The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. He does not deal with us according to our sins, nor repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.” (Psalms 103:8, 10-12 ESV)

Thank you, God for your unending, abounding steadfast love! For sending your Son, to take our punishment. For sending us your Spirit to help us along the way.