The other day our 2 1/2 year old, D.L., got into trouble several times. He's learned to exert his "power" with a loud "No!" when I tell him to do something. "No! I not do it!" came out of his angel lips several times during that day.
Well, Lord, I learned long ago as a parent and grandparent that I do D.L. a disservice if I let him stomp his little foot, throw things, and shout his refusal at me. So, I have to discipline him when he tries to be the boss around the house. Into time-out he goes until he calms down and decides to comply. It usually takes a few time-outs for the same offense before he figures out that talking ugly to Meme isn't a good idea.
How many times do You have to put me into "time-out" for the same offense, Lord? How many times do I fall back into my old prideful ways? How many times do I let the same sinful thoughts race through my brain? How many times do the same ugly or negative words cross my lips?
How many time-outs do I have to endure before I finally figure out what You want me to let go of, or what You want me to embrace?
I expect D.L. to make the same mistakes over and over--he's a toddler. But I'm way past the toddler stage of life. I'm even way past the toddler stage of my spiritual life, Lord. I've been a Christian more than 41 years. When am I going to quit stomping my foot and doing the same ugly things over and over? When am I going to figure out that some of my choices aren't a good idea?
One minute D.L's adorable and the next minute he's exasperating, isn't he? If you're a wise parent or grandparent you expect it to be that way, and you love him anyhow. You discipline him not because you're angry or hurt. You discipline him for his own good, so that he'll grow up to be a kind, wise, godly man.
I'm a parent, too, Little One. And I'm far more patient, more loving, more wise than you can ever be. And I love you a whole bunch more than you can ever love D.L.
Take comfort in that thought.