It is human to become frustrated when parenting. We repeat ourselves (throughout the day but also over years). It seems endless – because our children seem to struggle with the same problems. We seem to have the same struggle of wills over the same issues. Sometimes, real progress is made. Other days, we are back at the proverbial square one.
And yet… isn’t the same true of us and God?
How many times have I struggled with the same lessons He is trying to teach me? I feel as if I have finally learned, finally made some character development, finally crucified that part of my “flesh,” when lo and behold – the next day dawns and I grapple with it anew?
I struggle to accept His will. I struggle to forgive. I struggle with understanding and trusting. I struggle with putting up with “those turkeys” as my dad used to say (am I a “turkey” more often than I’d like to admit?). I struggle with accepting what He has put in front of me – the gifts (yes!) but also the trials and discipline and thorns in the flesh. The list could go on – for both you and me, dear reader.
And yet, God is so patient with us. His mercy and discipline are not like that of flawed humans. His forgiveness is absolute. And His love is what heals us to start anew, time and time again.
The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance ~ 2 Peter 3:9
But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. ~ 1 Timothy 1:16
The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. ~ Psalm 103:8
He invites us continually, tenderly to start again. And we need it desperately – the clean slate, the new page, the “recreated heart” (Psalm 51:10). May we each day learn to seek and accept His mercy, His patience, and His forgiveness – and then in turn, reflect it to those around us, especially to our children.