I was sitting drinking some coffee and reading a book today. I had a few short moments to try to relax after school time and before the dinner preparations. And as I sat there, I listened to the sounds of my boys laughing and playing together like they didn't have a care in the world. And really, aside from being forced to do math and chores, they really do not have many cares in this world.
At times like these, I realize again how much we can learn from our children. I wish I could trust, forgive, and love unconditionally the way they do. But something else made me pause and wish I could be more like children today.
I am good at feeling guilty about things. I guess we women are typically great at that. I feel guilty if I don't spend enough time with my kids or my husband, guilty if all the laundry's not done or if the house isn't clean enough, guilty for not cooking more nutritious meals, guilty for this, and guilty for that. And if I do something that is a bona fide sin...well, I have got the repentance part DOWN. No problems realizing that I am guilty. My problem resides sometimes in remembering that I am forgiven!
Well, one of my boys did something wrong the other day. I know, it's suprising that my children are not perfect, but it's true. It happened to be a pretty big deal, and a great teaching moment came out of it. Scott talked to him, and I talked to him. We talked about the importance of repentance, and assured him of our forgiveness and God's forgiveness. We also used the opportunity to teach about temptation, and how we have to be prepared to fight against it, using our greatest weapon, God's Word. He truly was repentant, and we prayed together, and I was thankful for that part of it.
And then I kept thinking about it. I began to be haunted by thoughts like, "What could I have done to have helped him to avoid that mistake ahead of time?" And "How could he have done such a stupid thing?" And I kept thinking and thinking about it, and feeling somehow responsible, and sorry for my son, because certainly this might ruin his sense of self worth or something...
And my boy? He went off and played.
It's not that he wasn't truly sorry. We could tell he really was. It was because he gets it that when God says it's done, it's done. If He says we are forgiven when we ask, then we are. It's not rocket science. Part of having an abundant life is knowing that God loves us no matter what, that He does not keep a record of wrongs, and that things are great between us again, every time we come to Him and tell Him we know we blew it and we are sorry.
Today is Good Friday...the day we remember the amazing thing God did for us. The fact that He loved us so much, even knowing we were dirty rotten sinners, that He came down here to be one of us, putting up with all the junk down here, and giving everything He had--His very life--To pay the penalty for our sins, and to give us the gift of a relationship with Him, here on earth, and forever! Such amazing love. Oh, how I hope you can grasp it! And invite Him into your life if you haven't already.
This is abundant life, friends. It doesn't mean that we will always be perfect, or that everything will always go our way. I am laughing just thinking about that! What it means is that even on our worst days, when we feel guilt ridden, or down in the dumps, or angry or pouty or whatever...we can remember that God loves us and died for us--even though we are downright ugly sometimes, and He knows it! And if we remember that, we simply can't stay down for long.
We might as well grab someone and go play.
If the Son therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed. John 8:36
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9