Friday, December 07, 2007

Why He Ordains Those Hard Moments

(What follows is a second edited email that I sent to those same friends who were frustrated in the difficult process of parenting a toddler.)

There are many, many days when Audrea calls me and the sound of her voice makes me want to leave work right then and go rescue her. Yet, to "rescue" her from that trial would not truly "rescue" her since what God wants for her at that moment is to see that 1) her current treasure is not God Himself, but removal from the pain of the moment and 2) the point of the pain of the moment is to perfect her. Of course, for the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Instead, you must count Christ as your treasure, my friends, when you meet trials of the toddler-kind, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. This is exactly what the author of Hebrews means when he says, "For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised. For “Yet a little while, and the coming one will come and will not delay; but my righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, my soul has no pleasure in him.” But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith [i.e. everyone in chapter 11 and following] and preserve their souls."

We are with those of Hebrews 11 who have not fully received the promises. Jesus has secured the purchase of our salvation, yet everyone's salvation and the redemption/restoration of all that sin has cursed will be culminated in that great day when Christ returns and rules with the rod of iron. We see Christ more clearly than they did, but yet we still long for That Day. And That Day is what we strive towards. It is the longing to be with Christ and see Him restore all things that our hearts should cry out for when our children will not be consoled or when our children resist discipline to the point of grieving us. But in that moment when life is so difficult, we need to see with eyes of faith. This is what it means to "preserve your soul": to endure the hard times by faith believing that the God of all grace has secured your salvation and will continue to change the desires of your heart towards seeing and savoring Him above all else. He is your great reward.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This was really encouraging you guys, thank you!

FYI..I dont know if it is just my computer but I cant see the pics of the kids on the newest post. :(

Kim (from RBC)