As a mom, I often find myself at a complete and total loss when it comes to my strong-willed child. I have five children—each with unique personalities, but this particular child has me pleading the blood of Jesus just about every moment of the day. He is very visual with his emotions, and they frequently look a lot like rage.
One night, after a massive meltdown and subsequent grounding, he said, “You are always mad at me. I am a bad kid, and you always take my stuff away.”
I paused, then took a deep breath, and began trying to explain the principles of good choices, consequences, and the purpose of discipline.
I said to him, “Your choices are like seeds. Each good choice you make is planted, and then a flower or tree grows up out of it. Each bad choice you make is planted as well, but a weed grows up out of it. At the end of the day, don’t you want a beautiful garden?”
“Mama?” he looked up at me with a look of contemplation on his face. And I’m patting myself on the back thinking, Oh, this is good. He’s listening and we are about to have a moment.
“Yes?” I outwardly replied to my now much, much wiser and learned little grasshopper.
“I like this pencil. It looks like a rainbow,” he replied. And then, the child proceeded to snap said pencil in half . . . right in front of my face.
Internally, I screamed, “That pencil weed will look beautiful in your garden, son!” In reality, however, I just sighed and fell back into the couch feeling completely defeated. Again.
That night as I put him to bed, he asked me, “What could I do to make you stop loving me?”
As I fought back tears, I said, “Nothing! There is absolutely nothing you could do that would ever make me stop loving you!”
His eyes got really big then, and he cried out, “Mama! You’re just like Jesus!”
What happened next is something that has happened to me many times over the years—I felt God nudge me and say, Hey, I’m talking to you, too.
This child—this stinkin, rotten, beautiful child—is such an ever-present reminder to me of how much my Heavenly Father loves me even as I test Him. Even as I throw spiritual fit after fit, He loves me the same. Even as I scream and cry out, Are you angry? Why did you take these things from me?! He still loves me, just the same.
I can picture Him trying to tenderly speak to me of the principles of reaping and sowing as I snap my beautiful, rainbow pencil right in front of His face. Why do we so often break the beautiful things before us?
In the calm after my heart’s storm, I can hear my own voice echo that of my child’s, asking What could I do to make You stop loving me? And before the clouds even part, I can hear the gentle whisper of His voice saying, Nothing, my sweet girl. Absolutely nothing. That’s Jesus.
What about you? Do you find yourself asking the same question?
No matter what you have done, or how many things of beauty you have broken before Him, His answer will always stay the same. In His love, He chose to have His own body broken before our Heavenly Father so we may cease from our striving and rest in this blessed assurance.
I challenge you today to plant those seeds of good choices.
At the end of the day, and more importantly, at the end of your life, don’t you want a beautiful garden?
Originally published on the author’s blog