A little girl sat ranting in her chair having been banned from the pool for her incessant fighting with the others.
Sitting beside her was a mom with obvious disdain for her child.
As the little girl began to wail the manipulating words, "You don't love me! You hate me!" it was apparent that this mom had had enough. She looked as if being with her kids was the last thing she wanted to do at that moment. No loving discipline was given but only harsh words and threatening glares.
After demanding that her little girl go somewhere else to cry and growing impatient with the rising howl from her daughter, she slammed her book down on the table and commanded everyone to get out of the pool and go in the house. With moans and groans the other kids reluctantly made their way out.
And then it all came flying out in a roar of anger.
I believe it went something like this, "I'm so sick of all the whining and crying! I'm letting you swim to have fun not to complain!"
Fits of wailing ensued in the pool. Each child crying his own song yet in unison with the others. Different volumes. Different pitches. Same words..."I didn't know! I didn't know!"
Quite a scene don't you think?
Something straight from the neighbors' yard but not your own?
What if I told you that this mom was me?
I should know how to do this better. I read my Bible, go to church, lead a Bible study. Heck, I've even written a book on motherhood! You would think I would know better than this!
The truth is that I'm not as good as I’d like to think I am. And as much as you are comparing yourself to me right now, you are not as good as you think you are either. I didn't say it, Jesus did (through Paul).
"For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God." Romans 3:23
"There is none righteous, no not one."Romans 3:10
This my friends is why we need Jesus and His perfect record of obedience to the Father.
After my ridiculous fit came the outrageous grace that the Lord always takes great pleasure in bathing this weak daughter of His in.
Tears were shed, forgiveness sought and praise radiated as I thanked God that these moments do not define our identity. We rejoiced that every perfect moment that Christ lived on our behalf is who we are and not our failures.
His grace turned our dysfunction into a gospel moment; once again bringing glory to Himself.
Because I have Christ's righteousness, my sin can never disqualify me from His presence. I am vigorously loved by God regardless of whether I am in a state of grace or disgrace. His love is never ceasing and my performance can never change that. EVER!
Even before I awoke this morning I had the promise of no condemnation and when I lay my head down tonight I have that same great assurance. To know that there is "no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus" gives me rest on days like this.
I don't have to look at my day and weigh the good against the bad because Christ came and threw the scale away.
I am reminded of His love for me and that these are the moments that He was nailed to a tree of death for. His painful separation from His Father was done so that I would never have to say, "My God, my God. Why have you forsaken me?"
My friends, if your day was like mine you can rest knowing that God is not angry with you. God's love for you has not changed one bit. He is not disgusted or discouraged by your failures. He is not keeping a tally of your sin. He is seeing you through His Son's perfection. Delighting in His beautiful daughter with whom He is well pleased.
On the other hand, if your day was full of glorious triumphs, thank Him for His mercy and kindness but know that your obedience did not earn you extra points. You and I stand on level ground. He is no more impressed with our good days than He is disappointed with our bad days. His love cannot be altered; it was secured for both of us on the cross.
As my day comes to an end I am thankful for the truth that the degree of God's love for us is in direct proportion to His love for His Son and never proportionate to our failure or success. That's freedom!