Tuesday, December 30, 2008

of the heart...

maybe you can relate to these thoughts of mine... Over the holidays, I found out that a friend has done something terrible. I've been praying for her and wondering what I could do or say to help her climb out of this dark hole she's gotten herself into. At times, I've looked down upon her, but mostly, I've been heartbroken for her. I can't imagine what she's thinking or feeling right now. In the meantime, we've returned home and tried to get back to "normal." Jon has decided that he wasn't so thrilled with normal and wants to make new rules or expand the boundaries to try to make his life more fun--or so he thinks. I've been beating him--no, wait! I mean, beating my head against the wall, because he is just constantly challenging me (Pete, too). All I know to do is to be consistent, discipline his disobedience or defiance, and lovingly try to remind him of why we do the things we do. Today, I was trying to decide what to do with my naptime "free-time" and was considering several options--television, facebook surfing, baking--when I was struck by a thought. "Why not read the Bible? You've been wanting to be more diligent in spending time with the Lord, why not now? If not now, when?" I started to ignore that proding thought and was struck again. "When I forget to drink from You, I can feel the banks harden...Lord, make me like a stream to feed the garden." (lyrics from Caedmon Call's song Sacred) If I'm not spending time with Him, in His truth, I have nothing good to offer anyone--my husband, my children, my loved ones, friends, etc. So, I did read that good book and I journaled a bit...and it was way more refreshing than any t.v. show or status update or cookie. And in that time I was reminded of some rather elementary truths that Jon has been learning in Sunday school at church. Obedience leads to blessings (or "happy blessings!") and disobedience leads to consequences (or "sad consequences.") Jon's class has been learning about Joshua. In the first chapter, Joshua tells the people that they should be strong and courageous in the Lord. He goes on to tell them to be obedient, not to turn to the left or the right, and there will be blessings. He tells them to meditate on God's Word day and night. And there's much more, but following the story and lesson, Jon's teacher--who he adores--taught them this summary, "Be strong and courageous in the Lord. Obedience leads to happy blessings and disobedience leads to sad consequences." They all practiced and they review it weekly. Jon has really learned to apply this to his life. When he gets in trouble, he says, "Now there will be a sad consequence, right, Mommy?" At first, I just thought this was so sweet and wonderful for him, then I realized that this is TRUTH for me and you as well. Whether we chose to obey or disobey, there are always consequences--some are more obvious and serious than others, but they are there nonetheless. Whether you are in high school or college, married or single, a toddler or a grandparent, each day you have choices to make. There aren't too many neutral decisions either. My friends decisions have serious consequences. Jon's decisions have consequences. This week, I've been praying fervently for Jon to be obedient and for me to have wisdom in disciplining and teaching him. However, today I was convicted that I need to pray even more fervently that I would be obedient to God in all things. Not because I want happy blessings--although, that is a nice side effect--but because then God is honored and glorified and that is the cheif end of man--to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.


linnea said...

How did you get to be sooo wise at your age? Thank you for this message, Heather.
I loved it when Jon said to his dad, one day while you all were here, 'Now I am gonna get some sad consequences, aren't I, Daddy?' I had to look away...but Pete kept a serious look on his face and told him 'yes'.
This fit so well with the lessons we have been doing with our LIFE Begins group that Dad used it as the basis for his lesson last night! The young people related quite well and we had some good discussion (which is ALWAYS what I consider a success with young adults!)
Thanks, again for sharing this dilemma and your heart with us.
Love, Mom

Peter P said...

Great message!

Thank you for sharing what God is teaching you.