I have written about this before, but becoming a parent has taught me a lot about God’s love for us. I used to think God would watch us go through hard times & sit up in heaven saying things like, “well, you should have listened” or, “You are getting what you deserve.” After having to hold my own kids to the consequences of disobedience, though, I don’t think that anymore. Do you remember your parents ever saying, “this hurts me more than it hurts you”? My thought was always, “Umm…yeah, no, it doesn’t!” But now I see what my parents were saying when they would ground me from going to a birthday party or that summer I sat, for what felt like any entire summer, writing 10,000 sentences.
I will not deceive my parents. I will not deceive my parents. I will not deceive my parents…sorry, flashbacks.
I understand what they meant. It wasn’t something they wanted to do, but they knew whatever behavior I was being punished for needed to be dealt with & if it wasn’t handled at that time it would only get worse as I got older. They didn’t want to see me at the kitchen table for a whole summer writing. They didn’t want to dole out punishment & consequences, but they saw I wasn’t getting it & something bigger needed to happen to get my attention. They didn’t want to see me suffer, but they did want to see me grow.
Jesus came to this world & died on the cross for us. That is grace. We don’t deserve that kind of love. We don’t deserve to be forgiven over & over again…and then to top it off we are told constantly in the Bible how much we are loved. What we did deserve was death & sacrifice for our sins. We should have paid that price, but we didn’t. He did. That is mercy. By mercy, we don’t get what we deserve. By grace, we get what we don’t deserve. That doesn’t sound like a vengeful God that is sitting in heaven patting Himself on the back. That sounds like a heavenly Parent who desperately wants His children to grow & learn & feel loved.
Every time I have to step up, live up to my words, & be the parent who is taken seriously, I usually find myself in a funk. I am tired for the rest of the day. My soul & spirit are just worn out. At those moments, I find myself running into that grace & mercy we have been given, because honestly 9 times out of 10, I could have handled it better. So I run to my Father in heaven crying out & thanking Him for that constant grace & mercy & praying that He will give me a spirit like His – full of grace & mercy.