Toddlers. It is amazing on any given day what I can learn from Sophia. It is so interesting to watch development not only in her activities but in her thinking. For instance…Sophia so wants to do what she wants to do. Whether it is something that we want her to do or not, she still wants to do her thing. Once she does the thing that we do not want her to do & she gets caught, she immediately begins to say, “I want to be a good girl!!” And in that moment, I truly believe that is the desire of her heart. She is sincere. But lo & behold, the next mischievous action is only right around the corner!!! I can talk to her, sit her in the corner or on a naughty seat, but the battle between obeying & disobeying is so great. This got me to thinking today….
Am I really any different than Sophia? Even though I am grown-up?
The idea behind our walk with God is growth. He so desires that we grow in ways that are pleasing to Him. Paul wrote quite a bit in Romans about our struggles with sin. He writes this in Romans 7:21-24a (The Message)….
“ It happens so regularly that it’s predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge. I’ve tried everything and nothing helps.”
All I am seeing displayed in Sophia is what we each struggle with all our days. I truly love God & delight in His commands. But there is that part of me that covertly rebels. Covertly —> part of me rebels in secret, in disguise, it becomes hard for me to even know at times where I am in rebellion. It becomes such a part of me that on my own, it may not even be recognizable. Paul raises the question, I think we all ask at times….
“I’m at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn’t that the real question?” (verse 24b)
Thankfully, he also gives us the answer to our problem!
“ The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.” (verse 25).
I am so grateful that what is important to our God is the bent of our heart. In the middle of my struggles, my failures, my temptations, He sees & knows that I truly love Him & desire to be obedient to His ways. Even when I am stumbling through this life, He helps me & encourages me with His Word each day. It is in Him & through Him that I am “cleansed by the washing with water through the word & am presented without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish but holy & blameless.” (Ephesians 5:26,27).
Funny thing….after Sophia did something wrong, she said to me, “Mimi, help me to be a good girl!”. Perhaps again, I should learn from her & say…
“Jesus, help me to desire & obey Your Word.”