I'm taking a break for a moment before I post about Joshy and Gracie, because I want to share more about my walk with Tyler on here before I move on to my other, younger children. As I said yesterday, it has been a long walk. Almost 13 years. From age 19 to age 31 for me,so far, and (poor Tyler!)for him,it has been a lifetime.LOl!
Thanks only to God's grace, I have not made many more mistakes as a parent than I already have. God gives grace to the humble in increasing measure, and I certainly have more grace on my life now than I did before~ being completely blind
to my pride before ~ but scripture shows that God takes mercy even on the unsaved in the world;
common grace as my pastor calls it~earth,trees,sunlight,oxygen,fire,water,sunrise and sunset and the ability to grow things upon the earth,animals,etc. And that is just physical provision for all He has made; a whole other area is His mercy in not smiting all of us at any time and throwing us into Hell, which is what we do deserve, because we are born sinners and He is a Holy and Just God; unable to tolerate sin~ this is why He sent His son, so His blood could work as a covering for us; Thank You Jesus!!
I also believe, from my own experiences in life and from the Bible, that God can work in even the unsaved in order to establish His purposein someones life/ on this earth. In other words, God is sovereign and we are not! Though He gave us humans our free will that we wanted so bad, and so often we choose to disobey God with it,this does not mean that God will not or cannot reach us; His mercy is from everlasting to everalasting; His faithfulness is forever; His mercies are NEW EVERYDAY and He does not forsake His children; Ephesians 1:7-11: "He is so rich in kindness that He purchased our freedom through the blood of His son, and our sins are forgiven. He has showered His kindness on us,along with all wisdom and understanding.God's secret plan has now been revealed to us;it is a plan centered on Christ,designed long ago according to His good pleasure.And this is His plan:At the right time He will bring everything together under the authority of Christ~ everything in heaven and on earth. Furthermore, because of Christ, we have recieved an inheritance from God,for He chose us from the beginning, and all things happen just as He decided long ago..." All things happen just as He decided long ago. Do you believe the word of God when He says that all things are predestined? (For a better undertanding of Predestination and Total Depravity check out this article by John Piper at this link: http://www.monergism.com/thethreshold/articles/piper/depravity.html .)
God has shown favor over my life when I was an unsaved sinner, comepletely living for myself, resisiting God's grace and His sovereignty; I believe in God's mercies with His children.
All this to get to my main subject today, which is that God has shown me grace even when I was unsaved. There is common grace. His hands have been all over Tyler's birth story,haven't they?From the beginning; He has been there for me. From even before birth, when He knit me together in my mother's womb, all throughout my childhood I can see His hands on everything, every moment, all of it in order, the way He planned it to be~ until today when His hands are still working, still molding,still shaping. His sovereignty is a great source of comfort for me!
It is also a source of frustaration for my Pride and Self-Sufficiency(one and the same?) Do I always rest in God's soverignty and His grace, in knowing that He has planned Tyler's life and my steps as a parent, in His order, as He wills? No, many times I want to take the wheel.I percieve with my limited vision my environment and I want to lean on my own understanding: foolish idea! In foolish self-sufficiency, I presume upon God's grace but selfishly plod ahead on some day with my plans for how to tacke a certain situation; I am losing out on the power prayer offers;I am stupidly putting my own hands over God's on the steering wheel and saying "No, let me drive!"
We talked about this in Care Group on Weds. night; one of our group discusiion questions was: What defines success to you? And, what defines success in the word of God? Well, this is a very interesting question, isn't it? It will reveal our hearts if we let it. Do you know that scripture when the Lord says "Well done,good and faithful servant?" I always get that mixed up in my brain to say "Well done, good and successful servant." But is that what He said?In fact, I read in my Bible that many times when we are faithful we will not be gauranteed successfullness here on this planet: 2 Timothy 4:5: "But you should keep a clear mind in every situation. Don't be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Work at bringing others to Christ. Complete the ministry God has given you." ....
Friends,there are many times that bringing my oldest son to Christ can be suffering~ not because of his sinfullness, but because of my pride.
I am currently praying(for myself)that God will help me to not put my hope in our parenting(which causes major frustration), that we will put on love for Tyler and focus on our own sinfullness, and that I will stop being idolotorus in wanting my ease and comfort more than I am wanting to bring glory to God in every sitaution in my life. Will you help me pray for this?
Whenever there is a situation that involves struggling,as well with the easier situations, the only response is to rest in God's Grace. My prayer is that with my parenting of Tyler I will choose to make my chief aim of every day to bring glory to God,and not to 'have a good day today.'
Bringing glory to God does not always mean it will be a 'good day', at least not by my limited vision/by the worlds understanding. A good day by God's standards is a day I rest in His sovereingty and bring glory to Him by 'pouring out the oil of love as my worship to Him'~ this can mean faithfully teaching my sons and daughter God's ways, while teaching them to obey God and seek repentance and submission to Him, while also showing them an example of a submitted believer~ how much would this attitude transform everyday life?
There would be no more frustration because it wouldn't be about me . I would not feel overwhelmed at times because I would be trusting that God is in control; I wouldn't be leaning on my own understandings at times, but I would be in complete, beautiful submission to Christ.
I remember when I was praying for my husband to be saved back in 2002. I had gotten so entangled in the sin of leaning on my own understandings of how things should be that I was to the point of manipulating him, trying to, into coming to church~ though I didn't have had the wisdom from God to recognize that at the time.
I remember the morning I was just starting to say things meant to bring Al guilty feelings for not coming(my last resort) and I was seeking God,pleading with Him to save Alan and He clearly told me "As long as your hands are on this situation,I will not put my hands on it." I am in that place again, this time with Tyler. His hands need to be working,be in charge, not mine.
So, this is where I am with Tyler today. I am everyday in the process of killing my own pride, entrusting my precious things~ like Tyler~ to Him,telling my foolish heart to Trust In Christ.
It is a beautiful journey.
Thanks for listening.I will share about Joshua's and Grace's birth stories soon... <3