Wednesday, August 30, 2006
When I want to do good, I don’t. And when I try not to do wrong, I do it anyway (Romans 7:19, NLT)
A few days ago I was hanging out with my friend and her two and a half year old son. After a little bit of an event where he thought he shouldn’t put his pajamas on, he came out of his room crying a little bit. He said to me, “I’m sad.”
I said, “Why are you sad?”
He said, “Because I am not cooperating.”
Now it could be that he was just sad because he figured that his un-cooperative attitude meant that I wouldn’t be reading a story for him. That was probably part of it. But I think that there was also a struggle within him. He wanted to please his mom but he also wanted to assert his will. He was frustrated by that process.
Oh boy do I ever identify with that. I so want to please God. Sometimes I mess up badly. I don’t listen. I don’t do what I am told. I come out grieved. Not just because of the consequences of my actions but because I have sinned. It is a really terrible feeling.
I think about how I felt so bad for my little buddy. My heart broke for him. I actually got choked up. His mother also instantly forgave him because she understands his struggle. If that is our fully human reaction I can’t imagine how God feels when we are grieved about our own sin. I am comforted by that.
I also imagine what it would have been like if my friend's son would not have been sorry for his actions. Yes we still would love him. We would understand his struggle and that he was very tired. But we wouldn’t have shared that moment together. I wouldn’t have been emotional and grieved with him. I think perhaps that also must be what it is like for God.