Thank you that you love us unconditionally. You love us when we have a fit and You love us whether or not we are fit or flabby. You care for our hearts and desire that we live with hearts that are open to Your truth, Your grace and Your love. Thank You for giving all of Yourself to save us. Thank You that You are not blind-sided by the hard stuff of life. Thank You that You are willing and able to meet us in our need and that You rejoice over us. Thank You for this day and for those who have gathered in this space. May You speak and move that we might be more like You and like You more too. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Jolene would love to connect with you in the journey to live with “faith-eyes.”
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What’s so hard about closing down Minecraft and starting school anyway? He knows the rules. He broke them. Something inside of me immediately felt that ole’ urge creep up; to tell him so.
“This is ridiculous. Calm down. You know better. If this is the way you are going to act…” Those words wanted to come out, and they started to. Not good.
Anger immediately sparked but thankfully it never fully kindled. This time.
I waited in his room for a while. While his head was covered in pillows and his legs kicked, I prayed.
His little mouth spewed out words that were never meant, “I hate this house!” Admittedly, a few other not-so-choice words too. He hid and found places to wallow in bitterness.
I’ve been there. I began to think about all those times I’ve kicked and screamed. All those times I’ve wallowed in anger and bitterness.
The thing I wanted most was love. Perhaps the thing he wanted (needed) most wasn’t mama scolding, but unconditional love?
My foster children were there too, many times over. It was a daily occurrence to count rounds of hitting, cursing and breaking things. The thing they needed most was love & security.
But, who shows love to a raging maniac?
What do you do when your child is fighting against you?
It’s easy to see the act of disobedience. Our flesh responds to anger with anger. We might try reasoning. But really, have you ever tried reasoning with a child throwing a tantrum?
I chose to climb on the bed and wrap my arms tightly. I held him close. He fought me as I whispered into his ear, “You’re going to be OK. I love you.” A short time later he was still clenched tight, but calm. Later he was sorrowful and thankful.
To respond in love, when the inclination is to do just the opposite, requires the empowering of the Holy Spirit. It’s not natural. For many years I found it challenging to ever respond in love – in kindness.
I mean, let’s be honest, this isn’t always the response I would give. However, after watching so many children fight the pain in their hearts and act out in anger, things have changed. My parenting paradigm shifted.
My son kicked and screamed when his game was taken away. He wanted to do his own thing. I told him no.
My foster children kicked and screamed when they were torn away from everything they knew. They kicked and screamed when they didn’t like the answers they got. Their anger grew when they were told no.
I’ve fought pretty hard against the Lord at times. I’ve kicked and screamed when I couldn’t have what I wanted. I have cried out and pleaded for things to go my way. God said no.
Why not?! Why can’t I have it my way?
Yet, God’s kindness is there in the no. It is there in the kicking. He whispers his love and offers to hold us close. We are calmed.
We don’t always get what we want with Father God; we get what we need.
Our hearts are fickle places that fill up with things that don’t belong. We worship anything other than Him. We hold onto stuff. We hold onto wounds. We fight to have what we want because it gives us a false sense of comfort and security.
He says, “No. I want something different for you.”
He reminds us, “You’re going to be OK. I love you.”
His kindness in our kicking brings calming comfort.
Lord – your love is better than a “yes”. Indeed it is better than life. Thank you for holding me close, Father.