Grace Abounding

I don’t know about you, but as I get (ahem) older, I can see how God has led me to learn some very stretching truths. Here’s one – it seems to be a sort of universal human thing – while, in my view, other people’s sin is mostly obscene and glaring, my own sins are always somehow trivial and dismissible. I don’t (and don’t want to) see my sins for what they really are, because I don’t want to see myself for who I truly am.

Well, God certainly does break through our delusions over time, and nothing has shown me my shortcomings (see, that’s my pretty word for sins – I’m already doing it!) as clearly as parenting has and in particular homeschooling. As much as I delight in their education, the responsibility is weighty – I often think that just about anybody else on the planet is better equipped for the job. I am the least qualified, but I’m beginning to see that – hey, it’s all O.K. because, after all, God is the source of all instruction and wisdom. Homeschooling to us means from sun-up to sun-down education, conversation, and training. That’s like 14 hours of grrrrrrr some days! Talk about revealing the bad and the ugly in this very sophisticated sinner that I am!

God’s grace abounded when He gently began teaching me about my habit of frustration and impatience. I began to see that often, during difficult learning situations, I was being unkind and disrespectful to the kids, nipping, and condescending. Looking back, I see now that the real reason for my impatience was a deeply rooted (but often excused) sin of pride for my being inconvenienced. Impatience was not simply part of my temperament, but my serious, God-violating sin.

God began to peel back the layers of my rationalized behavior – I wanted the child to meet my expectation. I wanted the child to stop wasting my time. I wanted to have something to show for my hard-labored day. The child was not conforming to my mold, my plan. Of course, I thought my expressions of frustration were warranted. In the back of my mind I rationalized that if I added “pressure,” than maybe the child would try harder, focus more, and learn faster. So, I would vent, ultimately hoping to receive reward for my effort and my time invested.

I exasperated myself and my little learner, because I wanted to see my measure for improvement, but truth says that Love is Patient. I couldn’t be patient, because I lacked the faith to be patient…that sounds odd, I guess, but I lacked the faith to rest in the fact that all things come from the hand of a good God. “All” – like difficult, flighty, space-cadet, chatty homeschool kids “All”.

I may not succeed at the virtue of patience this side of heaven, but for the abounding grace of God, He continues to change me.

Praise God that He reveals our ungodliness, trains us to live self-controlled, and readies us for good works! {Titus 2:11-14}

with love. Damaris