I hate when God humbles me. Unfortunately, this lesson is one I don't want to soon forget--and I know if I don't document it, I will forget.
I've been sitting under some great teaching each Sunday and God has definitely used this series Pastor has been preaching regarding Extreme Christianity. Basically, true Christianity should look extreme to a watching world in our obedience, worship, etc. Needless to say, I've been convicted...
Jesus: “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others." (Matthew 23:23 ESV)
It's finding the balance between a right heart attitude and legalism. While, yes, God looks at the heart and motives behind our actions, He does not justify sin in any way, shape, or form. On the other hand, we can keep the law to a "tee", yet treat others without love, justice, mercy, etc. It's a balance. It's keeping the things of the law WHILE exemplifying God's love and mercy AND having the right motive/heart attitude. It's hard to do. It's harder to confess when you fail. It's harder yet when it affects your child.
Most of the time, when it comes to Jackson, I find myself praising God. When I include Malachi in my perspective, he's an extremely EASY baby. Extremely. Earlier this week, Jackson did not get the memo that it was bedtime. I would think I got him to sleep, gently place him in his bed, wait to make sure he was still out, make my way to our side of the room, crawl in to bed, and just when I got comfortable ... he was crying. It was a weeknight and knowing John has to get up early to go to work, I try to take care of any night baby duty. Jackson and I played this game for two hours.
Earlier that day, I had decided to do something radical for God. I was going to take part in The 5 o'clock Club starting the next morning. That was my ambition. Sacrifice my morning of sleeping in to spend time with God. Good works. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately since the result has been conviction), this lofty goal revealed an ugly heart.
I cannot begin to tell you how beyond frustrated I was with Jackson that night. I rocked him. I walked him around. Didn't he know I had to get up early to be with God in the morning??? What was God thinking allowing Jackson to be so fussy and uncooperative so that I could do this big thing for Him? I began mumbling things under my breath. While holding Jackson, I tried with my free hand pulling his bed out of our room (and quickly getting even more frustrated when it was wider than the doorway) and kicking around things on the floor in the process. Why won't he stop crying? He's fed. He's changed. What more does this kid want from me? So I pulled his bed to the farthest wall from our bed. I decided to just put him down, turn up our noise machine, and cover my ears with my pillow.
Thankfully, John took over at that point and I could just sleep. When I woke up the next morning and held Jackson in my arms, I was ashamed. I looked around at all the clothes I had disheveled and prayed for forgiveness. I was thankful that in the night, John at least moved his bed back to where it normally was placed. Even moreso, I was thankful for God smacking me upside the head and realizing how wrong I had been. Needless to say, I've held baby a little closer these last couple days and have enjoyed him that much more--fussiness and all.