Even When I’m Disappointed, I’ll Love You Anyway

Suffice it to say, hiding the evidence didn’t work.

I found her hidden stockpile, proof of mistakes that she’d stuffed into a corner of her bedroom.  I suppose she thought somehow that it’d eventually disappear or I’d just never notice.

But she underestimates a mom’s ability to discover truth (she never did figure out those two eyes in the back of my head)….so we stand there in that corner confronting the reality.

She had done something wrong and I had proof.lamentations3

But instead of bringing all that trouble straight to my feet and asking for help, she’d hidden it away and hoped I wouldn’t notice.

I tell her I’m disappointed, tell her I expected better, tell her she needs to overcome.

But then, when she’s tearful and we’ve retreated to the sofa, we pray for God’s help.

I hope she’s really listening, deep-down-take-this-to-heart listening, because I don’t want the words to just shoot through her before pushing their impression down into the soft clay of her heart.

When you’re in trouble, when you mess up, when you’re hurt, when something is wrong….

come

to

me.

Yes, your first impulse will be to run and hide, no different than Adam and Eve crouching among the garden leaves.

Yes, I’ll be sad at first.  Yes, I’ll be disappointed.  Yes, we’ll have to deal with it and that might be messy and hard and it seems easier in the moment to just avoid that pain.

I understand this.  Haven’t I stashed sin before, as well, desperately hoping that no one would notice—that HE wouldn’t notice?  I’ve been Eve in that Garden before, too, and I know how it feels to hold my breath and hope that God walks on by.

But God picked me to be your mom and that means sticking with you and helping you learn and overcome  That means loving you right on through the tough times.

Mary Kassian tells me:

When we face trouble, we are to pour out our hearts to him.  Everybody trusts something; we must learn to trust the Lord, our eternal rock (In My Father’s House).

Trust.

Is that what this is about?

If she trusted me enough to love her through anything, wouldn’t she come to me even when she’s done something wrong because she knew I’d help her?

If I trust His love that much, wouldn’t I run breathlessly to His feet, just run, no looking back, no hesitation, because He is the only One who can handle the mess I’ve made?

Yes, He’ll be disappointed.

Yes, He’ll be sad.

But what hurts His Father-heart most of all is when we trust in ourselves, trust in others, trust in programs, trust in Google searches and advice columns and friends and substances and self-help books, but we don’t trust Him.

The Israelites in that wilderness fretted over destination, clothing, enemies, food, water.  They whined.  They strategized.  They rebelled.  They wheeled and dealed.

The Psalmist writes

they did not believe God
    or trust him to care for them (Psalm 78:22 NLT).

Troubles rose up, maybe even just minor annoyances like dietary preferences, and they never did just learn to run to God right away.

He was angry.  The Psalm says, “When the Lord heard them, he was furious” (Psalm 78:21 NLT).

BUT

He still loved them.  And even when they abandoned Him time after relentless time, He always stayed faithful.

God’s love for them, His love for us, isn’t feeling love, temporary love, conditional love.  The Hebrew word that Scripture uses over and over is “Chesed”—it’s the loyal, steadfast, covenant mercy and love God has for His people.

They didn’t trust Him, didn’t bring their troubles to Him and they messed it up over and over and over, but He still went on caring for them abundantly, miraculously, faithfully.

He rained down manna for them to eat;
    he gave them bread from heaven.
They ate the food of angels!
    God gave them all they could hold. Psalm 78:24-25

He rained down meat as thick as dust—
    birds as plentiful as the sand on the seashore!  Psalm 78:27

So, I rest there with my daughter, my arms wrapped all the way around her and I say it one last time:

Come to me.  Do not hide away or lie or run.  Bring it all to me.

And I hear God rustling the leaves in my life, calling to me just as He did Adam and Eve, asking me to trust Him enough to bring everything, bring the sin, the mess, the worry, the fear, the troubles big and small, bring it all to Him.

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  Her book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, is available now!  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2014 Heather King

Weekend Walk, 06/23/2012

Hiding the Word:

Last night, our kids colored their last craft, ran around the gym for the last game, and tasted their last snack of Vacation Bible School.  All week long, we taught the kids to trust God . . . no matter what.

Whoever they are . . .
However they feel . . .
Even when people hurt them . . .
Even when bad things happen . .  .
And anywhere they go . . .
Trust God

Sounds so simple.  Sounds so childlike.  Sounds so easy.

But of course we know the truth.  Most of us need the constant reminder, encouragement and challenge to trust Him.  We need a perpetual bright red string tied around our finger.

So, this week I’m choosing to meditate on a verse that speaks truth about that trust.

It’s not based on anything I do or whatever I muster up in my own strength.  We trust God because of His steadfast, unfailing, loyal, everlasting covenant love for us.

But I have trusted in your steadfast love;
    my heart shall rejoice in your salvation (Psalm 13:5)

Weekend Rerun:

After a week of lessons on Group’s Sky VBS!, I’m reminded of the lessons I wrote last year on the Group PandaMania VBS.  This was one of my favorites that week:

God Loves You, No Matter What
Originally posted June 23, 2011

After a conversation with a friend this week, I recalled the first time I had to turn over my green card on the classroom behavior chart and leave the yellow card on top.  I was in third grade and had forgotten my math homework.  The teacher asked us to hand it in and I quickly zipped open my backpack to grab up my finished paper.

Only it wasn’t there.  So, I pushed things around gently and then more energetically.  I scrambled through the papers and then yanked everything out.  Slowly I realized my paper wasn’t in there.  I had nothing to turn in.

So, I had to shuffle over to the behavior bulletin board and take my punishment.  A yellow card for Heather.  Bright yellow so everyone in the class could see I messed up.  I forgot.  I was careless and irresponsible.

Embarrassed, I slinked back to my desk and slumped down hoping to become invisible in my chair.  My face was burning red hot, the kind of shame that makes your ears sear into the sides of your head.

But, when I sheepishly glanced at the bulletin board the next morning, I saw a green card next to my name again.  It was a new day and with it came a rush of joy that the mistakes of yesterday could be so simply erased and forgotten.

It was the astonishing grace of a fresh start.

That’s what Christ did for us.  Raising us up from the dead.  Taking our place on the cross and erasing the record of our wrongs so that we could stand before the Most Holy God and look . . . holy and pure.

He saw you and me as worth saving even when we were splattered with the mud of sins and caked in the foul dirt of this world. “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

So, what should we do with this amazing grace?

I know what I do most of the time—forget it, take it for granted, or, even worse, nullify it by trying to be perfect.  I begin to live in a spiritual world of musts, shoulds, do’s, don’ts, shalls and shall nots.

The Psalmist wrote, “If you, Lord, kept a record of sins, O Lord, who could stand?  But with you there is forgiveness; therefore, You are feared” (Psalm 130:3-4).

Yes, we would be pounded into the ground if we carried the weight of our sins on our wimpy shoulders.  We couldn’t stand in His presence much less crawl face to the ground before His throne.

But.

But with Him there is forgiveness.  Praise God!

The Psalmist ends that thought with, “Therefore, You are feared.”  Not the fright of might, though.  Not the run and hide kind of fear.  Not obeying God to escape His wrath.  Not surrendering to Him in order to earn His love.

The Old Testament Bible Knowledge Commentary says this is the fear of “worship and obedience.  The Scriptures state that many results come from fearing the Lord; the most notable is that the person keeps himself from sin.”

In January of this year, I felt the heavy nudging of the Holy Spirit asking me two questions, one of which was, “Are you ready for where I want to take you next?”  The God who loved me passionately was asking me to walk in worship and obedience—holy fear in response to abundant grace.

“That depends,” I answered.  “Where are we going?  How long will it take?  What is the expense-to-benefit ratio?”

It sounds mercenary, but those are the questions that rumbled around in my head and heart for weeks.  Was it safer to stay where I was?  Was safer necessarily better?

His question sounds so simple and easy when we belt out “I surrender all” in a church service.  Then there’s that moment when God takes you up on your offer and asks you to surrender your plans for the future, your comfort, your life, and you wonder how much “all” actually is.

And then I felt it, the pull of performance and the tug on my heart to just do what God wants so He’ll love me, so I won’t let Him down, so I can live up to what a Bible Study girl should do.  It was a works-based response of duty rather than the bride’s response of affection to the overwhelming passion and love of her Groom.

So I waited to answer God.  I waited until I truly believed that God would love me no matter what.  That the choices I make here may affect God’s plans for me, may affect my impact on others, may affect how I am blessed, but they will never affect His unconditional and unending love.

Only then, in the light of so much grace, knowing that I answered Him out of love and not duty, I bashfully answered, “I do.”  I do want to go with You.  I do want whatever you desire for me.

Why do we obey Him?  Why do we whisper “I do” when He asks us to surrender?  Why do we choose the difficult right over the much easier wrong?

So He will love us?  No—because He loves us. 

We ask Him to “lead me along the path of everlasting life”  because there’s no other place where we can walk next to Him, our tiny palm nestled inside His nail-scarred hand (Psalm 139:24).

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for www.myfrienddebbie.com and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.