Sunday, October 10, 2010
I know best....I think
As a parent, I find myself constantly trying to tell my kids what to do. It's not that I want to boss them, I just can see things they can't see and don't want them to make some of the foolish mistakes others (including myself) have made. If they would just LISTEN, life would be SO much simpler. But they don't, at least not always. I've got to tell you, it's more than a little frustrating! I know best! I think.....
All this got me to thinking about how God deals with us. There is no question that God knows best....He knows the past, the present and the future all at the same time. He knows what our actions will bring - yet He allows us to make wrong choices all the same. Let that sink in a minute. He knows what our choices will bring, good or bad, and yet He allows us to choose all the same. He tells us the guidelines, then lets us make our own decisions. He also allows us to deal with the consequences of those decisions - good or bad. In the process, we either learn to love His direction more or get mad at Him for allowing us to make our own choices.
As a parent, I struggle with this. I want to not only tell me kids what is best, but help them out when they make wrong choices. Makes me wonder if I know what I'm doing after all. I want to save them from themselves....and in doing so I'm afraid, perhaps, I'm keeping them from really growing up at all.
There is a second part to this "allowing them to make mistakes" that is even harder - the loving them no matter what part. When they break my heart because of wrong choices, can I still love them? When they embarrass me because of their behavior, can I still love them? If they do things that bring shame to the family name, can I still embrace them in love yet never make an excuse for their behavior?
God allows us the freedom to make our own choices and loves us even when those choices break His heart. He loves us so much, He is willing to delay judgement in order that we might finally "get it" and start listening once again to Him. He loves us enough to let us make mistakes and even suffer from our own foolishness so that we can learn.
Those of us who have messed up pretty badly can recognize true love. True love holds us even when we push away. True love weeps with us over our mistakes and foolish choices, but allows us to learn in the midst of them all the same. True love is angered when we are harmed by the choices of others, but loves the "others" as much as He loves us. True love rejoices with us when we are set free and find the path we were meant to walk in this journey called life. True love knows best, and yet allows us to choose anyway.
I know best....but I don't know all. I have no idea of the wonderful things my Lord has planned for my child or those around me. All I know is that it is a plan far greater than I could ever dream of or imagine....and somehow God is using everything to work out that plan in our lives, if we will only let Him.
Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
2 Peter 3:8-9 (Message translation) "Don't overlook the obvious here, friends. With God, one day is as good as a thousand years, a thousand years as a day. God isn't late with his promise as some measure lateness. He is restraining himself on account of you, holding back the End because he doesn't want anyone lost. He's giving everyone space and time to change."
James 1:22-25"Don't fool yourself into thinking that you are a listener when you are anything but, letting the Word go in one ear and out the other. Act on what you hear! Those who hear and don't act are like those who glance in the mirror, walk away, and two minutes later have no idea who they are, what they look like. But whoever catches a glimpse of the revealed counsel of God—the free life!—even out of the corner of his eye, and sticks with it, is no distracted scatterbrain but a man or woman of action. That person will find delight and affirmation in the action."
Let us never forget this: Romans 5:8 "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
That's what truly knowing best and loving us all the same really means.