Yesterday was one of the hardest days in my life as a parent thus far. You hear that being a parent is hard, but it’s worth it. But sometimes it’s ok to feel like it’s not, only to be reminded that it is because of the hope to come.
As I scrubbed the poop stained carpet, tears welled up as I began to cry. “Why, does he not get it?” “What am I doing wrong?” were some of the questions that started to cloud my thinking. It caused me to feel anger, sadness but ultimately depravity and defeat. There was nothing in me that could control my 2.5 year old son from his lack of obedience and adventurous spirit. I honestly didn’t stop to think about the lack of trust and sin in my own heart because I was so focused on his. While I cleaned, I put Asher in the tub, because let’s face it, he was a stinky mess and I knew it would occupy him for a little bit. I finally finished cleaning what seemed like never ending poop smears and just sat in the silence. Isaac was napping (praise God) Asher was in the tub (washing off his own poop lol) and I was sitting still (in a puddle of tears). I cried out to God in the moment I felt like a failure as a mom and weaker than I ever have been. I asked God why was this parenting thing so hard for me to do. And I started to hear him whisper gently, “I came to serve you”. I allowed that truth to speak to my heart as I finished washing Ashers body and everything he touched. I brought him back into his room to show him all that mommy had to clean because of his lack of self control (let’s not talk about mine when I found him, truth) and disobedience. He watched as I finished wiping things down for the fifth time just in case I missed a spot and he started to realize the destruction he caused. We sat and I told him how it made mommy feel and why it made me feel that way. And then I realized what God was saying to me all along.
Motherhood is hard, it’s not glamorous and can bring you to your knees. That’s it. It brings you to your knees in surrender because there is nothing in you that can control sin without the power of the cross. So here we sat, forgiven and loved by God and in that moment his sweet words couldn’t have quietened my heart more than “I’m sorry mommy, I love you mommy” As I looked at his soft expressions I answered “I love you too son, and I forgive you” with a big hug and kiss.
So here we are in the middle of “Holy Week” the week that led up to Christ death on the cross and he gently whispered in my ear, “I came to serve you”. Last night as we prepared for our bedtime routine, I flipped to the next Easter devotional card that we are doing with the boys and it was the story of the last supper in Mark 14. Ironically titled “The Servant King” in our Jesus Storybook Bible. As the story goes, God’s people were preparing for passover where they would remember how God rescued them from being slaves in Egypt. Jesus was sharing a meal with his friends and the topic of feet came up. Feet back then over 2,000 years ago were let’s face it, nasty. The streets were dirty and they only wore sandals. So you can imagine the “stink” and the job of the person that had to clean the streets. “Only the lowliest servant” Jesus used their topic of discussion to show them that he came to be the servant King. He began washing their feet and revealing to them more of who he really was as they marveled. One by one, Jesus washed everyone’s feet. “I am doing this because I love you,” Jesus explained. “Do this for each other.”
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” John 14:6
So here we sat, and as I remembered all that Christ had done for me on the cross I wanted to also reflect this to my son. Even when I didn’t deserve forgiveness Christ died for me. So then even though my son didn’t earn favor by cleaning up his poop, I forgave him. I am continually in awe at the ways Gods draws me to himself through experiences like these that I might give hope to my son and to you that Christ came to serve, so let him. Trust in his sacrifice and stand firm in the hope that is to come one day and allow it to create the same servants heart toward others so that they too may experience his love for them.
Remember him this Easter.