I woke up this morning with the sun streaming in my window at 6:30. It was heavenly. And then I cozied down in my chair with my cup of coffee and read my Bible before the day began. I was in a great frame of mind...until the kids made their appearance.
Of course, they are acting their age. It is part of being a kid to be irresponsible (although maybe not quite THIS irresponsible), to lie, to be lazy, to fight against authority...Just like it's part of being an adult to be impatient and unloving. It's all called sin.
In my Bible reading this morning I read Nehemiah 9, which is the account of the people's repentance after the wall was completed. There is a long prayer that the Levites gave, recounting Israel's history and God's faithfulness. I made a list in my journal of all the things it says about God...He is gracious, merciful, provider, creator, slow to anger and full of unfailing love, forgiving, just, true to His word. I came up with 21 adjectives from this chapter. Then I made a list of all the descriptions of the people...stubborn, rebellious, unfaithful, disobedient, obstinate. There isn't one positive description of the people, unless you count the fact that at that moment they were repentant.
It was a good reminder on a day when I'm weary of parenting that this muddle of sin we're in is part of life, but there is hope. Kids will act like kids and adults will act like kids and we are all stuck in sin but for this: "You are a God of forgiveness, gracious and merciful, slow to become angry, and rich in unfailing love. You did not abandon them..." (Neh. 9:17). And He will not abandon us. His gracious help is always available when we ask for it.
If today is one of those days for you, and you're a little tired of the sin in your heart and the sin in those around you, take courage. God is merciful and gracious, full of unfailing love for you and for everyone around you. Even our stubborn and rebellious hearts do not make Him love us any less!