His face says it all.
So to be honest it felt like we were trapped, not blessed, with these kids this Thanksgiving morning. They are so grumpy, really easily displeased, and they just make a lot of messes. We are all still a little sick and I kept thinking, in between what seemed like a lot of appeasing, frustrated sighing, and discipline, that there had to be someone who could do this better for them because I don’t really like it.
But that’s not really what life is about, right?
“Do you like it? Do it. If you don’t like it, don’t do it!” Well, that’s what life IS like for a lot of people, I guess. But I got on the counter culture path when I met Jesus almost 16 years ago, and my life is not about me.
It’s about Him.
So, sometimes I don’t “like” my responsibilities around having small children. I could have predicted that way before we had them, honestly, knowing myself. But God gave me these babies AND He gave them ME and I love them so so so much even when I don’t LIKE them I would actually die for them.
Thankfully, I don’t have to do that. We don’t even live in a time or place where that is likely to come up. But God did/does. That struggle between living is and liking us and what means definitely came up for Him.
God created us because He wanted us and we messed up (He probably didn’t like it when A&E ate that pomegranate or whatever it was). So He came to earth as the man Jesus and lived a life like the Son of Man and the Bible says he was tempted in every way but never sinned. And then He was found guilty of blasphemy, calling Himself God, even though every evidence declared that was in fact the truth, and He died a gruesome death upon a cross – a death for a criminal – but although men put him on that cross with their sins and their hands, He actually gave Himself up because of what it would accomplish.
Which is what? A repaired relationship between God and His children who keep messing up. God is so holy and perfect, we would die in his presence. He couldn’t bear that, so Jesus (equal to God) died instead. And then he rose from the dead, conquering death and therefore canceling the punishment forever, and then ascended to heaven to sit with God. Now they wait patiently for every man to put his trust in Jesus for salvation – the repair of that broken relationship. He is patient because it is His will that none should perish!
And when we do put our trust in Jesus, we are recognizing our immense need for Him and the chasm it puts between us and God. And Jesus says to us, you are whole now. You are worthy. God loves you and He wants to be with you, even when you’re weak. Especially when you’re weak (while we were still sinners, Christian died for the unrighteous)!
And then we put off or old self and take up Christ, and sometimes that’s hard because when we’re mad and we don’t like our kids, the Holy Spirit who inhabits me now convicts me, saying, you’re not acting like your true self. Your true self loves these children muchly. Your true self wants to be with them even in their weakness.
I belong to Jesus, now. He cannot help but make me more like Himself because it’s for the best. It’s best for me, it’s best for my children, it’s best for God’s other children.
And my children are the best tool for that transformation right now.
And, as hard as it is, I do like that! I want to be more like Jesus so I will thank Him when it’s hard.