You see, I'm a nanny. I watch two kids, an 8 year old boy and a 5 year old girl. They are sweet and active and imaginative and independent. They are usually pretty well behaved.
Until they are tired.
I stayed overnight the other day because both parents had to go to work extra early the next day and I'm 45 minutes away. This meant I was now in charge of dinner, bath time, and bedtime. I could tell the girl, M, was exhausted. I had initially told her she could wait til her mom was home to bathe, but soon got a text saying the mom would be late. So I changed my mind and told her to get in the tub. WELL. this caused chaos. A tantrum ensued. Not wanting to deal with her I told the brother to go first instead. Also a bad idea. He was watching tv and did NOT want to take a bath first, so then there was an argument between the two about how to go first. To settle arguments, they go by odd/even dates. M's birthday is on an odd day and her brother is on even. So I asked "What day is it?" It was the 2nd. Meaning Brother gets to choose who goes first. Obviously he chose little sister. She was not happy. The tantrum continued for AN HOUR. Crying "I don't want to!" And "It's not fair!" I commanded, bribed, bargained, and ultimately quit...
Older Brother, W, had been arguing with me all afternoon. Demanding his own way and testing the new babysitter's limits. Naturally, when their mom got home, I told them about the great morning and then the awful afternoon. She wasn't happy at all and corrected both kids. They know better.
Because she loves her kids she had stopped and gotten them cookies on the way home, not knowing about their behavior. I half way assumed that they wouldn't get the treats after bath time because in no way did they deserve it in my mind. No way. But then- SHE TOLD THEM ABOUT THE COOKIES. "no. Surely she's not offering them rewards?! Excuse me?"
But, I said not a word. I ate my own dinner and let her deal with them as they bathed and got ready for bed. W came out and dug in the bad for his cookie. He found it and ate it with a grin on his face.
In that moment, It hit me. That- that is grace. He didn't deserve the cookie but his mom loved him. It wasn't a reward as much as it was a token of affection.
I am evil to the core. I can act sweet at times and be kind perhaps. But I am a sinner. I deserve nothing. The Bible says I hated Christ and he died for me anyway!!!
That's more than "argued with" or "disobeyed"
And He gave me much more than a cookie. He gave me his LIFE.
On top of that, unlike the kids' mom, He knew about my behavior ahead of time. All of it. Every day. The lust and selfishness and laziness and apathy that I keep running back to over and over and over. He knew. Yet Ephesians says he *lavished*grace upon me with all wisdom and understanding. It is not something I earn but He gives out of love.
All of these thoughts flooded my mind and I began to tear up. It's incredible! I went to sleep that night very thankful and knowing [in my head] more about Jesus.
Flash forward to this week. In our house it has been a very...rough couple days,to say the least. Lots of things were going on so emotions were intense and sensitivity levels were on high. What did I do? I opened my stupid mouth.(not unusual). Over the couple of hard days, I made several comments toward family members that were totally uncalled for. I argued with my parents and was moody and ridiculous. One day it was so bad that I got the silent treatment from a family member for several hours. I had wounded people deeply. [we're better now]
and in addition to that, Jesus and I are really working through some issues so I even screamed out in anger toward HIM. So much flesh. I threw a fit in my car one night, tears, snot, hitting my steering wheel and everything. I cried things like "I don't want to!" And "it's not fair!" [Sound familiar]
Please ask me what He did in return.
I got a lot of trip money, plus a promise of another check on the way. AND a church member sent me an encouraging message written with deep compassion and love- a friend that cared, which I have prayed for. AND encouraging conversations with family.
*screeechhhh* stop. Wait WHAT?!
I had acted sinfully toward people and God. And he gives me things I had been not only needing, but *wanting*
I don't get it yet. It's not set in my heart. But-
That night, as I went to sleep, my thoughts traveled back to kids and a cookie and me. And I smiled.
Oh Holy Spirit. Thank you.
Nothing that touches my life does not first pass through Your Sovereign hand.
I'm sorry. Please don't let me forget.