Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Lesson in Grace

Raising children is not always easy. Teaching them can be relentless and monotonous, and tiring. There are few times that I truly believe the things that I tell them go deeper than surface level, down to the heart. Then the teachable moments happen and I realize that, maybe, just maybe I will have gotten somewhere.

I opened my daughter's backpack from school, which can be a bit scary! I was bombarded with notes from her teacher. Notes that she had hidden, notes that she had kept from me purposefully. I read each note and contemplated how to continue. The notes displayed a repeated theme- disrespect for fellow students. Now this has been something that has repeated itself over and over in her young life. I have discussed with her the importance of "loving her neighbor as herself" as we are told to do in Matthew 22:39. I discussed how much God loved the little child that she was taunting and being rude to, how He loved that child the same way He loved her. I told her how important it was to be loving to God's creations.

Then something happened that truly broke my heart. There she sat, squatted actually, on the floor with her head down. Her hair had fallen and she mumbled something inaudible to me. I had her stand up and tell me again what she had said. With tears in her eyes she repeated "God doesn't love me because I do bad things." She said this so matter-of-factly it broke my heart.

This child has been in church her whole life. She has heard of how God forgives us and how because Jesus died we can go to heaven even though we do bad things. She knows these things in her head. Apparently it had not quite reached her heart, and she had not learned about a very special word. One that God has lovingly bestowed on us.

That word, as I told her, is Grace!!! Oh the Grace of the Lord!! What a beautiful thing.

2 Corinthians 12:9 "But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me."

His grace IS sufficient. It IS made perfect in our weakness. It is through the power of Christ, through the power of a loving God and creator that we can live and love and through our weakness as humans that we are perfected in Christ.

I sat there on this Thursday morning talking to my daughter about grace, the beauty that God has given us through his grace. I told her that our process of being perfected in God is an ongoing one. That even I, her mom, still made mistakes and that God does not love me any less for it. The smile returned to her face as we humbled ourselves before God and prayed for his forgiveness and Grace.

How beautiful that we can come boldly before the throne of Grace and ask for God's forgiveness and help. It is the one lesson that I truly needed today, and it was given to me by the sweetest 7 year old little girl!!!

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