"The Lord is in His holy temple
His throne it sits above in Heaven
But still His eyes behold and test
The Sons of Men"
That was the one, the song my son wanted me to sing tonight. I've been writing songs based off of the Psalms lately and it's done warm and fuzzy things in my heart to see my son not only memorize these songs but also request them frequently. Each one, he always calls "the new song." So at bedtime, when he asks for the "new song," it sometimes ends up in me starting 4 or 5 songs, and being abruptly stopped each time. "No, no, no, no. Mommy sing NEW song."
Tonight this was the winner, and I sang it over and over and over again, until he joined in on several rounds, and then more as he began to fall asleep, but still managed a drowsy request: "keep singing." And as I lay there looking at my beautiful, sweet, talented, funny, smart, rambunctious, difficult, tiring son, I felt so much peace from God.
This song is based off Psalm 11 and Hebrews 12. The idea is that God, though He seems so far away, so unapproachable - ruling over and upholding all things - still watches me, still cares about me, still disciplines me, still teaches me. He's my Father, and He doesn't sit afar off. He's involved in all the details of my life, and is leading my life for my good and His glory.
The good truth of this sunk in deep tonight ,and I needed it because lately I've worried about my son. I've worried that I'm not parenting him right, that my discipline is hurting him and not helping him. That surely I'm doing something wrong that will scar him...FOREVER!
I've also worried about myself. Is God disappointed in me? I'm not doing much well. I'm slow to learn. He's probably tired of dealing with me. (These thoughts are not at the conscious level. I KNOW these things aren't true, but I've been living kind of "head down," as if they were.)
But singing this song reminded me that God is not thrown off by my weakness or even my rebellion (jaw drop)! His discipline of me was part of the plan, written from the beginning! That's what a father does: watches, stays, guides, redirects, redirects, redirects. He doesn't get tired of dealing with me, and throw in the towel. He loves me, so He leads me. He really didn't expect me to be perfect at this holiness thing. There's a reason I need the Cross, after all.
And so I, with my son. I must discipline him, because I love him. I want him to grow in character and godliness. I can't leave him to figure it all out on his own. Though it's painful in the moment, it wouldn't be loving of me to stay distant and avert my eyes when he needs guidance and correction. This all seems obvious but when your rebellious little wrecking ball looks up with his huge eyes and dimpled grin, it leads to a conflict in emotions!
So, here's where I pray. Because man, do I need this daily reminder.
God, in the pain of my discipline help me remember that you discipline me because you love me. That you're near and not far and that all your plans for me are good. That you see me as your precious child and You will not turn away. And in the pain of disciplining my son, help me remember that discipline is YOUR idea. That it's good, that it's loving, and that its good effects far outweigh the momentary heartache. I will trust you. There's a purpose in this pain.
If you can relate to this struggle, I pray the same for you.
"For what son goes without discipline?
The chastisement's for his good
Though for a moment there's pain
It's end is glorious
The peaceful fruit of righteousness"