Jan 9, 2007

Yet the love of the LORD will stand

On Sunday evening, I was asked to babysit in the nursery at church. I was assigned to the toddler room which consisted of five little toddlers pushing, punching, whacking, throwing, peeing, and screaming. I was trying my hardest to be patient, when two of the little boys started fighting over a ball (really funny actually. There were dozens of balls, but they had to fight over that one). So I just grabbed it and took it away from them. Of course, one of them started screaming and having a tantrum and I thought, "This is for your own good. I wish you couId see that! I don't want to be mean!"

The next little kid on a slide started arguing with another little kid who was trying to get on the slide and they both started pushing each other off of the slide! So again, I grabbed them and took them off the slide. And, of course, they started crying and having tantrums.

THEN a little girl said, "Teacher! I want more graham crackers!" and I said, "No, you don't need anymore. You just had one!" and then she pouted and kept asking, "but why?" "but why?" and after she saw that I had no intention of giving in, she finally sulked away.

During all this, I kept thinking, "if only they could understand that this is for their own good! I do not want to be mean!" Letting them have their way every time will not teach them anything!"

And then it dawned on me. With God, I am just like those little toddlers. I don't always understand why He takes away certain joys and allows me to cry. But in time, I always, always realize that it was for my own good. Just like a child, I don't always see "love" when I am not allowed to have my way, but for the Christian, we know that if God did not discipline us, He wouldn't love us.

It's definitely not easy to deal with suffering while we are going through it. But through every trial I've been through, I always see God's Hand. And it doesn't always lead to joy, but it always leads me to closer to Christ. And when I remain in love with Jesus through it, I see that He is showing me my salvation, His redeeming power and His awesome love.


Laurie said...

Praise the Lord for His wisdom!

ann_in_grace said...

He is good.
Now, on the other hand, it is clear from this post that You have no children of your own yet :)
Which is, by no means, criticism, just stating facts.

Susan said...

Hello again,
I bought John Piper's book, Desiring God, and finished reading it the other day. I got a lot out of it and wrote a book review. If you are interested it is here.

ann_in_grace said...

I could not sleep because of my comment here. I do hope You did not feel offended, please that You do not.
what I meant was that when one has lived through some years of tantrums and rebellions of one's own off-springs, one gets hardened and does not notice some "minor" tresspasses :)

Samantha said...

Hi Ann-

I was not offended in the least! :D

Stan said...

I never learned so much about God and His relationship with me as I did when I became a parent.

Julianne said...

Amen Samantha! You know I believe what you went through is not only an object lesson, but a training ground. God is preparing you.

Blessings dear sister, Julianne

jON said...

i know this is going to seem a little random and out of left field, but i was wondering if you would mind if i dropped into the conversation here every once in a while? i found you through a comment you left on a friend's blog, a booklook.

i am asking first because i can see from reading through your posts that we have very little in common theologically. and i like to grapple with and question ideas and doctrines and such. it is not my goal to come through here to bash or scowl or condemn or anything like that. in fact, i am only interested in peaceful, loving, kind, and gentle discussion of ideas. that is what is in my heart. i just know it is good to discuss things such as these with people who don't agree with you from time to time to broaden your understanding of any particular issue.

if this is ok, simply say so. if you're not interested, then simply ignore this and it will be the last you hear from me.

(oh yeah. the whole "non-capitalization" and run on sentances don't ever go away. it's just a part of who i am and how i type. so that comes with in the deal...)

Samantha said...

Jon, I'm open to discussion. Just let me know what you'd like to discuss?

jON said...

nothing in particular. just wanted to know if it was ok to jump in at any time as i felt lead.

Samantha said...


Can I ask, are you saved?

jON said...

meaning...? do i believe that Jesus' death on the cross made a sufficient sacrifice to make peace between us as and the Most High God? yes. is that what you were asking?

Samantha said...

I only ask because you say in your profile that one of your favorite bands is NIN, and that one of your favorite books is "the ultimate guide to anal sex for women"

...both which seem to be very odd in the life of a believer.

I realize you might be offended. But I feel convicted to ask.

jON said...

no offense taken. it's all love from here...

and, growing up as a pastor's son and having church politics consume my life, i completely understand why those things stand out and say, "WHOA!" it's okay. i understand. don't be afraid to ask. how first hand familiar are you of either nine inch nails' or tristan taormino's work? (tristan being the author of the book.)

the reason they are on my list is because both of those people, trent and tristan, are lovers of truth. both of them show a consistant level of complete honesty about them that is at once surprising and disarming. they challenge me to reevaluate the things i know and dig deeper.

and...as a follower of God... i love truth. even if it comes in a package i'm not quite ready or willing to accept. because truth does that. it comes at you from places you're not expecting. it catches you off guard and it dismantles a part of your world in an instant. i know you know what i'm talking about. epiphanies. revelations. those times when a verse hits you in a completely new way. and when it does, it clicks about 10-15 other verses that you never quite fully understood before into a new cohesive paradigm of life and the kingdom. right? you've had those times, right?

the best for me are those mornings when i get up and i'm still not fully awake and i'm reading the bible with that half lucid/dreamlike state. really great stuff comes in those times.

and never feel like you have to apologize for following the Spirit. if you felt genuinely convicted to ask... i'm not going to stand in the way or make it difficult for you to follow Him. ask away.

sorry. don't know where all of that came from... but... there it is. peace to you all.

jON said...

and by the way... i wanted to say that i have a lot of respect for your e-communication skills. i was talking with my wife about how prompt you are in your replies and that you seem genuinely enaged. it's refreshing and i respect it.

Samantha said...

Hi. Take for example this song by NIN:

he sewed his eyes shut because he is afraid to see
he tries to tell me what i put inside of me
he got the answers to ease my curiosity
he dreamed a god up and called it christianity

god is dead and no one cares
if there is a hell i'll see you there

he flexed his muscles to keep his flock of sheep in line
he made a virus that would kill off all the swine
his perfect kingdom of killing, suffering and pain
demands devotion atrocities done in his name

god is dead and no one cares
if there is a hell i'll see you there
your god is dead and no one cares
if there is a hell i'll see you there

"will you die for this?
will you die for this?
will you die for this?
will you die for this?"

god is dead and no one cares
if there is a hell i'll see you there
(your god is dead)
god is dead (and no one cares)
and no one cares (drowning in his own hypocrisy)
if there is a hell (see you)
i'll see you there (you there)

As for the book: Here's the description I found from Wikipedia:

"The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women is a book and pornographic video authored by Tristan Taormino. The first edition came out in 1997, with the second edition being released in 2006. The first movie based on the book was released in 1999, and was directed by John Stagliano and Ernest Greene, with Tristan leading the workshop and performing in the orgy at the end of the video. The second video was released in 2000 with more explicit anal sex scenes (including Pegging) and different actors."

Um...I am very sorry, but I cannot believe this would even delight or....engage a believer. Yes, true Christians struggle with pornography, maybe even listening to music that is wrong. BUT, the true Christian should hate it because it is sin, not identify it or condone it, or claim it is all right to indulge in.

I'm all about love and all that, but when God's Name is associated with that sort of blasphemy, then I have to take a stand.

Philippians 4:8
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Galations 5:19-24
Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Samantha said...

Sorry Jon, I had to delete that comment because of the last paragraph.

Anyhow, you are welcome to join in the discussion. But you should realize that I will be giving my opinion, whether it's hard to hear or not, and whether it agrees or disagrees with your or anyone else's viewpoints.

The chief end of man is to glorify God. If a "believer" seems to be enjoying things that are not praiseworthy or beautiful and that are not glorifying to God, then I feel I must rebuke. Please realize I do not do it to be mean, but for the sake of you and my own sanctification. And I'd expect the same rebuking from my brothers and sisters if they saw me going down the wrong road.