I wonder which set of parents loses more sleep; parents of infants or parents of young adults?
I awoke before dawn the other day, wracked with the myriad of emotions that indicate grief (anger, sadness, etc.) in regard to a circumstance in the life of one of our children. It's about a profound loss. No doubt they are sad and suffering, but so are we. As parents we can't help it. We hurt when they hurt.
Honestly, at 4am I felt more anger than any other emotion. "When are they going to get it?" I wondered. That's when God engaged me. "When are you? Do you realize how many fingers point back at you when you point fingers at others?" Hmmm. Now I really wasn't going to get back to sleep.
It wasn't until 7am during my weekly meeting with men (www.waterboyz.org) that God's perspective and His way came together through His timeless living and active Word.
The God of the people of Israel chose our fathers; he made the people prosper during their stay in Egypt, with mighty power he led them out of that country, he endured their conduct for about forty years in the desert (NIV).
HE ENDURED THEIR CONDUCT FOR ABOUT FORTY YEARS IN THE DESERT!
Talk about long suffering love! God initiated a rescue of His chosen people who were suffering in bondage. He did miracle after miracle to save and provide for them (parting Red Sea, drowning the pursuing Egyptians, manna, meat, etc.) and what did they do? Time after time they forgot what He'd done, disrespected Him as God (e.g., The Golden Calf), and they whined about everything...AND HE ENDURED THEIR CONDUCT! Hmmmm...
How does God endure, and why? It is His nature. God is love, and love always hopes, always perseveres, always protects, always...by His love for me and in me I can live loving too.
What does He endure in me? How do I disappoint Him? How have I and how do I fail to seek or heed His counsel? How do I hurt His heart? How do I settle for less than best in the times I fail to make Him my first thought as my chosen confidant, comforter and companion? Recognition of this causes my pointing finger to fall to my side as the words of Jesus to the woman caught in adultery come to mind. "Woman, where are your accusers?" he asked. (They had walked away from the oldest to the youngest after Jesus challenged them, "You who are without sin, cast the first stone.")
Who am I to do less than to lovingly endure the conduct of my children when my Father in heaven endures mine? He loves me, and I love them.
It's okay to be emotionally distraught in regard to events in the lives of those we love (children, spouses, friends, etc.). But I must guard against self-righteousness, withdrawal and cessation of efforts to live loving as I endure their conduct. God endures my conduct, and He loves with perseverance..."Love always perseveres" (I Corinthians 13).
He endures because He loves. We endure by His Love for us.
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