Sunday, February 11, 2007

Learnin' my lesson ~ P.S. #6

I don't know why, but for some reason, I felt I should put the text of this week's chapter in my blog. I don't usually do that, but then I thought, what if someone is reading here who doesn't want to take the time to go look it up? So I felt I wasn't being considerate...therefore ~

1 O Lord, don’t rebuke me in your anger or discipline me in your rage.
2 Have compassion on me, Lord, for I am weak.
Heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony.
3 I am sick at heart. How long, O Lord, until you restore me?
4 Return, O Lord, and rescue me. Save me because of your unfailing love.
5 For the dead do not remember you. Who can praise you from the grave?
6 I am worn out from sobbing. All night I flood my bed with weeping,
drenching it with my tears.
7 My vision is blurred by grief; my eyes are worn out because of all my enemies.
8 Go away, all you who do evil, for the Lord has heard my weeping.
9 The Lord has heard my plea; the Lord will answer my prayer.
10 May all my enemies be disgraced and terrified.
May they suddenly turn back in shame.
While reading this, I thought to myself that the Psalmist might not have actually been being "punished" by God. He was probably simply living the consequences of his actions. Because, if David was the author, he did certainly deserve a little punishment. And being the King of Israel, God was about the only one who could do it. Even though God called David "a man after His own heart", David still lied, committed adultery and arranged to have a man killed.
And I thought I was a rotten child!
But that isn't what my post is about today. I do appreciate the praise part of the chapter where he points out that God has heard his pleas and answered his desperate prayers.
However, I'm going to focus on the first part of the chapter. And a big part of it is from a "Mommy" perspective.
One of the hardest things for me to do is mete out consequences for naughty behavior. Oh, I HATE that. AND it's even HARDER when the child is crying...sobbing!..."Please, Mommy, NO!! I'm SOOoooo Sorry!"
Breaks yer ever-lovin' heart! Arrgh!
But it is a fact of life and a lesson to learn. Just because you apologize and repent does NOT mean you escape the consequences of your actions. I would not be a good mother nor be raising my children properly if they did not have to live through the aftermath of their decisions.
Hebrews 12:6 says "For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one He accepts as His child.”
OUCH! So when I goof up, apologize to the Heavenly Father and ask Him to "bail me out" mean, He WON'T???
But He DOES promise to be with us and allow us to lean on Him as we survive it.
A prime example of this in our lives is my exhusband going to prison. In one day, our entire lives were changed. No more Daddy, no more husband, no more income, no more house, no more security. Only fear, pain and grief.
Don't get me wrong. I still care for him very much. One cannot just erase 17 years of a relationship from one's heart. But there are times I have been SO very angry at him!
OH SURE! NOW you're sorry! Now that you're in trouble. Now that our lives are destroyed. Now that you have scarred our children's hearts!
OR...Are you just sorry you've been CAUGHT?!?
It has been a slow, difficult process convincing my children that they will not and can not ever see their father again. It breaks my heart to HAVE to take away that hope. But I must. He was ordered by the courts of the state to register as a sex offender until 2026. My children (heck, ANY children) cannot be within 300 feet of him. In 2026, my son will be 32.
And just when I think I have gotten the message across, something will happen that brings it all up again. Like a couple of months ago, the girls were having lunch and MG was cleaning the kitchen when one of them pipes up "You know, pretty soon my daddy is going to come home and then you'll have to leave."
To his credit, he was very calm and simply told her she needed to discuss that with her mother.
So, AGAIN, I had to sit each girl down (ages 4, 7 and 8) and make sure they understood that, NO, Daddy wasn't coming home!
No matter how sorry he is.
No matter how sorry or sad we are.
No matter if he promises "Never to do it again".
We must ALL live with the consequences of his actions.
And several times since he has been gone, I have made VERY poor decisions; in relationships, in how I spend our money, in how I spend my time. I have had to survive the consequences of those decisions. Unfortunately, my children have, too.
But I'm getting better. And when I goof up, I admit them. I don't know if that's the right thing to do or not. But I don't want my children growing up thinking I'm perfect. I want them to know that I make mistakes. I blow it, BIGTIME.
And when I do, I have to pay for it. I try to learn from the mistake so I don't do it again.
It's called learning my lesson.
Yes, sometimes it feels as if the punishment will never end. I think that's how the Psalmist feels in today's passage.
Will this pain go on forever?
Well, it won't always hurt this badly. But I think there must remain a little pain or at least a memory of that pain ~ negative reinforcement~ to keep us in line. So we remember the lesson...always.
Please, Dear Heavenly Father...Don't let me forget my lessons!
PS ~ don't forget to go over to Erica's and check out what other people have to say about this passage! God bless your week! :D


Denise said...

I enjoyed your post, bless you.

Jen said...

I like what you wrote
its hard when we have to suffer for someone elses foolishness isnt it
Last year was hard for us too
I came though it with a deeper dependence on God though
I pray that He might hold you and your girls in His arms and Father you as a daddy should
Big Hug

Barbara H. said...

This is an excellent, excellent post. I hadn't thought of it from the standpoint of a parent dealing with my children's (or anyone else's) sin. Some years ago My pastor brought out something from Leviticus 26:40-42 where God tells them not only to confess their sin but to also accept the punishment He prescribes. It is so true that forgiveness doesn't always cancel out punishment or consequences. Often it is those consequences that help "drive home" the lesson.

Thank you!