“This is so hard,” I cried to my husband the other night after another communication tangle with our son, Gabriel. It was over something so minor as getting ready for bed. Put your toys away, brush your teeth, put on your pajamas. Simple, right? At least, that’s what I expect, even though we’ve had a good amount of incidents where bedtime routines are anything but routine. I’ve shared before that Gabriel will sometimes get stuck on certain words and phrases and will want things repeated over and over again until it has completely mastered him and exasperated me. So that’s what happened that night.
Times like these when I go through a range of emotions, from anger to despair to self-pity, none of which reflect a humility and trust in The Lord. The self-pity usually consists of thoughts of being the worse mom ever and that my children would be better off without me.
When God saved me as a teenager, there were sins in my life that were just gone. The Lord removed them, and I didn’t have a second thought about them. But, in this journey of sanctification, there are other sins that are like huge icebergs. No amount of chipping away at them seem to make any difference. They are still looming ominously before me.
Nevertheless, my standing before God remains. Once saved, always saved. And as my pastor used to say, “Once saved, always changed.” What kind of God would save a sinner and then leave her in the same filthy rags she had on before? No, not my God. When He saved me, He forever changed me.
But, when I seem to be acting more like the person I used to be, like that night with Gabriel, those icebergs come into view and I start to wonder. When the struggles are over the same sins, I start to doubt. When victory seems out of my grasp, I lose my assurance. Tell me, have you been there before? Are you there now?
The Lord knows our frame. He wants us to know with all certainty that we really know Him and are known by Him. Let not the sins which He has nailed to the cross tell us otherwise.
Some dear sisters shared this verse with me, and I have been holding fast to it, especially during times when besetting sins lead me to question my own salvation. May it bring your heart the assurance that The Lord freely gives His children.
This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence: If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. (1 John 3:19-20)
(Photo credit 1: SaltyGrease)
(Photo credit 2: Tim Ellis)