Sunday, January 19, 2014

Because The Boy Is Precious To Me... The Way We Are Precious To The Father

There's this boy under my roof that blows my mind. He's unique in every way. He's not your typical little guy.  He doesn't really fit in with the world, which I must admit is something I really love about him. He doesn't care for sports. He's a rule-follower, sometimes to a fault. He's a hard worker, in love with the scriptures, interested in the details, curious to how all things work. He gets easily bothered by other people's imperfections. But even more so, he gets bothered by his own imperfections. He's a spitting image of his Papa in more ways than not, but along the way he has picked up on some of his Mama's heart issues as well.

It's humbling being a Mama.

The Dancing Girl came down stairs the other week and in the most matter of fact voice asks me,

"Mom, where the hell is Reesie."

Yep, that kind of stuff happens around here sometimes.

She had no idea it wasn't the nicest thing to say.

But guess what? She probably didn't pick it up from a movie, or from a neighbor down the street. Truth be told, she just might have picked that one up from her Mama.

And when my sweet little Hal, who wouldn't intentionally hurt a fly with her words, spouted that word out in the kitchen, I had to apologize and explain to her that her Mama hasn't always used the best choice of words. I told her that if she heard that word out of my mouth again, she had permission to encourage me to pick a better word.

Like I said, being a Mama is humbling.

Anyways, back to that amazing boy that lives under my roof. He's got the same struggles as his Mama. He struggles with his tone, with self control, with receiving correction.

And I've been fervent in asking the Lord to show me how I can pour life into this boy in this area because I know to well the pit he has in his stomach every time he lashes out, again. It's that feeling of failure. That feeling of knowing who you want to be and knowing all to well who you're not. It's that voice of the enemy in your head that says, "the Lord is not at work in you, and you're never going to get this."

He's told me so many times through his tears how mad he feels that he continues to do the very thing that he doesn't want to do. {Paul anyone? :)}  Our sin can feel like a such a battle. And the truth is, it is a battle.

But what I forget sooo often, is that it is a battle that has already been won.

Our small group met on Thursday and I had no idea that the Lord had such a sweet Word for me. One of the precious women there was fired up about the passage that we were going through and as selfish as it may sound, I seriously felt like she was speaking straight into my life.

It's simple really. And yet it's NOT the place I rest. And it's not the place I'm teaching this boy to rest.

This boy, he watches me. He watches the way I flounder, the way I believe the lies rather than the truth.

He watches me cry angry tears and shout at the Lord.

He listens to me say out loud, "I'm never going to get this. I'm just going to be a jerk of a Mama for the rest of my life."

And although I find it good to be authentic and real in front of my children, I want to be authentic in living in the joy and freedom of what is true, more than in what is not true.

It's okay to struggle, but it's even better to overcome, with the life-giving words of the One who made my boy and I.

And so, I spend a Thursday night listening to this spirit-filled woman speak these words right into my soul, and on the drive home, I beg the Lord to give me an opportunity to pour these same life-giving words in this boy that I love.

The Lord is good!

And the next day the boy falls into that tone that he despises and he leans over the sink and he sobs and I run to my room and I grab that glorious book with all the dog-eared pages from the night before and I read it to the boy.

I read that one from Proverbs and I repeat that last phrase over and over and over again, "the righteous man... he rises again. He rises again. He rises again."

Boy of mine, we're going to keep falling. But the righteous man, he rises again. We don't quit. We never stop going to our Savior. WE can never ask for help too many times.

I tell that boy about all the glorious things that the Lord calls us... His beloved. His children. HIS. And then I read those words from Romans 8,

Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.  Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?  As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
    we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[j]
 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[k] neither the present nor the future,nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Boy, we are not condemned.

Boy, nothing can separate us from that extravagant love of Jesus.

Boy, When the Father looks at you, guess what, He sees His perfect son, every time, every sin, every mistake, every time.

I showed that boy of mine 1 John 3,

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! 

This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence: If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God  and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him. And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. The one who keeps God’s commands lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us: We know it by the Spirit he gave us.

Boy, did you catch that? All we have to do is believe. That's faith! Believing in what His precious son has done for us, and then believing the words that are written on this very page.... we have confidence before God  and receive from him anything we ask... BECAUSE, WE...believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ.

We can be confident. Why? Because He says we can be confident.

We are loved. How do we know? Because He calls us His beloved.

We are not overcome. Why? Because He has overcome the world and NOTHING, not our tone, not our struggles, not our greatest hardships, can separate us from the love of God.

My sweet sweet boy, I'm praying for you. Will you pray for me too?

The boy wiped his tears and we spent the day up in Denver. 

I had prayed for opportunity, right?

And it came.

And it kept coming.

And I got tired.

And I wanted to just lose it on the boy because I'm so incredibly human and I get so sick of saying the same things over and over and over again.

And when I just wanted to walk away from the boy, the Lord spoke gently to me...

"Beloved, I am patient with you. I am patient with you. Patient. Long-suffering. Waiting joyfully."

And isn't this parenting at it's best?

I press into this boy because the Lord is patient with me.

I press into this boy because he is precious to me, the way I am precious to my Father.

I press into this boy because the Words of his Savior need to be written on his heart if he's to have any hope in this crazy, broken world.

I press into this boy because his soul is so thirsty for life-giving words, desperate for hope, hope that the Lord really is at work in him, and that he won't be destroyed by the yucky feeling of sin.

And so him and I, we stand in the parking lot while friends and siblings wait.

We stand there and he repeats his failures and I repeat HIS truths.

I'm tempted to shout, "Don't you get it???? You're not hearing me boy!!!."

But I don't. 

Instead I whisper it again and again and again...

"The righteous man rises again."

"Do not let your heart condemn you, Jesus is greater than your heart!"

"You are loved, you are chosen, you are loved, you are chosen."

"Boy, you CAN do ALL things through Christ who strengthens you."

You can rest there boy...

Because it is the one thing in this place called earth, that is really true.

I correct him and he blames me for his actions.

We talk about the way a godly man will always take responsibility for his own actions.

"But I don't like being in trouble," he says.

We talk about the way humble, manly men, make a habit of admitting when they are wrong.

We go back and forth for a good 20 minutes.

Pouring into treasures can only happen well, from Christ pouring into us.

Us Mama's, raising up oaks of righteousness {Isaiah 61:3}, it's no small task.

The boy dries his tears.

He asks if I might be able to pray for him.

And right there in that parking lot, I pour out my heart to my Jesus on behalf of my boy.

We walk together back to a car full of waiting folks.

It's not long before opportunity comes knocking.

But this time I'm ready, armed with the Word that brings life and with a willingness to say it all over again, because the Lord is always saying it all over again to me. :)