I wouldn’t have yelled at my daughter for spilling the milk in the utensil drawer. Instead, I would have offered her some grace and some tips on cleaning up the mess. I blew it, and the only excuse I have to offer up for my poorly chosen response is my carnality—my fleshly resistance to the work of the cross. And really, that isn’t much of an excuse. I know better.
Haven’t I spent a lifetime in the Word of God and submitted my heart to the refining fires of the Holy Spirit’s purification? No need to answer. I know the answer. “Yes” and “Apparently not enough.” When will I learn? When will holiness take hold? When will I stop doing what I don’t want to do, thereby ending up regretting the “do” I’ve done?
But for the grace and mercy of God, I’m toast. Done. Finished. Incomplete and completely hopeless. My righteousness is as filthy rags before the Father. Oh, I know it could have been worse. Trust me. I’ve been worse. I have some yesterdays filled with worse, some rancid history—a season or two in my past where I was deeply entrenched in willful sin, feeding the desires of my flesh and damaging my soul’s pulse. Thank God for his patience, for his willingness to tarry a while longer . . . long enough for me to come to my senses and to realize that a swine’s filling was a poor substitute for heaven’s bread.
My stomach sours with remembrance. My heart swells with relief for the mercy afforded therein. It’s been a long road, this grace journey. Some days, I still feel like the wretch in the middle of an amazing grace. Some days, I feel like a saint. Today I just feel numb. Suckered in by circumstance, I fell prey to the schemes of the enemy, and, in doing so, I became the predator—a mom sucking the life out of a moment and out a soul that depends on me to know better. To live better. To give better.
I’m sorry, sweet daughter of mine, for failing you today. Grace should be the standard in our home, and love should lead the way. It would be so much easier for you to understand the cross and its mercy and the big God who bent low to offer them both if I could get my act together and live accordingly. Your forgiveness is rich and your love all the more. Today, you’ve been Jesus to me. In doing so, you’ve erased some of the sting of the last thirty minutes. I promise that the next thirty will live better for both of us.
No more crying over spilt milk. God will put us back together. I love you, Amelia.
PS: My friend, Laura Boggess, wrote some kind words about Beyond Cancer’s Scars. You can read her thoughts and sign-up to win a copy of the book by clicking here. Even more grace added to my day. Thanks, friend.