I took the kids on a few errands one day last week.
If you have (or ever had) small children, you can imagine how that played out.
Screaming, mad dashes through the store, throwing fragile items on the floor, tears, more screaming… And the kids were nuts too. 😉
Anyway, both before and during the trip, I had gone out of my way to carefully instruct my 3 year-old daughter about the behavior that I expected from her. In turn, she had carefully gone out of her way to defy my every direction.
As we left the final store, this is the dialogue that took place.
Daughter: “Now can we go to McDonald’s for a special treat, Mommy?”
Johanna to self: “Ummm…you expect a treat after that?”
Johanna to Daughter: “How can you even ask for a treat when you’ve been disobedient?”
Conscience to Johanna: “Because you never do that, right?” (yes, even my conscience is sarcastic)
Legalist that I am, I was initially condemned that I pray for things even when my ducks aren’t all in row.
But, then the Lord reminded me that He delights to bless and provide for His children, regardless of our sins.
After all, “while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8)
When I refuse my children’s requests, may it be because I want to lovingly teach them…not because I’m indignant that they are asking for treats while sinning.
And, when I am enjoying the blessing of the Lord, may I remember that I haven’t earned it. He delights to give me treats–even when I am straight-up sinning.