By Grace Alone

The real life struggles of a Christian mom

Convicting and Encouraging Moments July 26, 2008

This has been a tough week.  Due to on-call scheduling that we will never do again, Daddy was at work almost all of last weekend and worked late every night this week.  It made each and every one of us tired and cranky.  Throw in hefty doses of 2-year-old tantrums and 4-year-old lying, and you have a disaster brewing.  By Friday night, I had HAD IT.  Actually, I had had it about 5 times already and was working on #6.  It was dinner time, and Daddy was not home.  As I put food in front of the kids, Christopher asked me to turn on their new Bible verse CD, Steve Green’s Hide ‘Em In Your Heart.  It is fairly new for my kids, and they LOVE it.  (Thank you, Pearce!)  Christopher has learned several verses and the Lord’s Prayer in a week–I highly recommend it.

One of the songs is based on 1 John 3:16:  By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. As I listened to my children’s sweet voices singing along about Christ laying down His life for us, I felt convicted.  I was not loving my kids well.  I was not laying my life down for them.  I felt resentful of the ways they were sinning against me and making my life difficult.  How much more have I sinned against my Savior again and again, but He still went to the cross for me.  And so I am to lay down my life for my children (and others).

In that moment of conviction and guilt and sadness for my sin, I looked up from the kitchen to see Christopher looking at me with a Cheshire-cat grin on his face.  He said, “Momma, I’m smiling at you!”  “Why?”  I asked.  “Because I like you a lot,” he answered.

Our God is so good.  He doesn’t leave us in our sin.  He convicts us, but He also doesn’t leave us wallowing in our guilt.  He graciously encourages us, letting us know that we are forgiven in Christ.  And often He provides a respite . . . soon after, Daddy arrived home from work, and everything was so much better.