Tuesday, October 16, 2012

heart battles {part 2}

{click HERE to read part 1 of this post}
in all this heart-digging i keep hearing the same sweet truth whispered in my ear.  the words i want whispered in my children's ears...in a thousand different ways.

this life of walking with jesus is not easy.  we are called to a life of sacrificial love but something dark inside of us tells us that it is our needs that should be met first...not the needs of others...that pretzel that someone else is about to savor should really be ours.  and so that battle rages.

the good news is this.  sin is not our identity.  we are not children of darkness.  as my pastor reminded us of at church this week - we are not just sinners saved by grace.  we are co-heirs with Christ.  we are children of God and entitled to all the benefits of that sonship {or 'daughtership'} along with Jesus. 

so this is love...the ultimate demonstration of sacrificial love.  not just that God sent his son to die for our sins but that he offers us the gift of eternity and all the infinite benefits of a relationship with him.  

so there is the saving...but there is also the giving.  

he saved us so that we would be in the position to receive the gift.  and how can we not receive a gift that required that kind of sacrifice to give.  that kind of love.

i so desperately want to teach this truth to my children.  without it...nothing else in this life matters.  

i have gotten in the habit of randomly telling my kids throughout the day - i love you everyday, all the time, no matter what.  at night when i put them to bed i ask the question - when do i love you?  they grin and repeat the words they have learned by heart.  i want them to know that i love them in that way and...that God loves them in an even bigger way - a 100% spiritual {not a single ounce of flesh} kind of love.  he loves them...he loves us...everyday, all the time, no matter what and infinitely more than any love we have ever experienced on this earth.

this is the truth i want whispered over and over again in their ears until they experience it in their hearts and then are sealed in its truth.

i created you and i know you...better than you know yourself.  my love for you is deep and wide and without limits...it is a sacrificial love.  everything that you are and that you are not is completely covered by my grace so live boldly in the freedom of knowing that - for by grace you have been saved through faith...and this is not your own doing...it is my gift to you.  live with open hands so that you may more easily receive my gifts and more easily give them back to others.

in the battle for their hearts i want my kids to know the importance of this.

open your hands.  stop grasping for pretzels that are not yours.  open your hands.  stop reaching for the next rung on the ladder you believe you must climb.  open your hands.  stop clinging to some false identity that this world is giving you.  open your hands...to give and receive.

a few weeks ago joey and i sat across from a very different lucy than the one i described at the beginning of this post.  {remember the pretzel incident?}  this time we were having a family dinner on the back porch together.  oliver was in a 'mood'.  he kept being disruptive and we watched as lucy was surprisingly patient and helpful with him.  at one point joey had to correct oliver for throwing food on the floor {or something like that}.  he instantly broke down into sobs of sadness mixed with defiance.  we watched him turn and run into the house to escape the situation.  joey and i looked at each other but it was lucy who spoke up - 'don't worry.  i will go and talk to him.'  

and there she went.  she didn't have to.  she could have stayed in her seat, enjoying her meal, and having mommy and daddy all to herself.  but something inside of her prompted her to sacrifice all of that and demonstrate love to her little brother.

two minutes later they both walked out holding hands and smiling.  lucy escorted oliver to his seat, got him situated and asked - 'are you okay now buddy?'  he nodded and went back to eating his dinner.  joey and i looked wide-eyed at each other.  there it was...that beautiful part of her...the light.  

and that, my friends, is the good news.

the hearts of our children {like our own} will always have dark corners but for those of us who belong to jesus there is light.  and when his light shines in the hearts of our children...well...i don't think there is anything in this world that takes my breath away like that.
this is day 16 of 31 days...