Monday afternoon was Chaos. Sawyer had missed his nap and was having a particularly difficult day. I was sitting at my desk preparing for a worship leader lab the next day amid his cries. Needless to say, I was stressed. All this was happening while Dusty attempted to make dinner. When what seemed like Sawyer's 100th scream rang through the house, I immediately felt anger rise up within me. My immediate reaction was to jump up and shout, "chill out boy! Obey your mother!"
I was convicted and humbled in that moment of how my natural response would not lead my son well. My natural response would not demonstrate love or help Sawyer with his anger. Meeting anger with anger never turns out well. I was reminded in that moment of how both my son and I are lost in our sin, and in need of the saving grace of Jesus. This in turn brings to mind one of my favorite songs, Gracious Redeemer. The lyrical content of the song are a simple yet powerful picture of the gospel story!
I was lost in sin, held captive by my fear
’til your mercy showed your hand was reaching near
My God, you came and made a way for me
You made a way for me
My Jesus, gracious Redeemer and friend
There’s nothing like Your love without end
My hope was purchased by the blood of the Lamb
My Jesus, Redeemer
You defeated death, You trampled over sin
You’re the Risen King, You’re coming back again
Oh God, You came and made a way for us
You made a way for us
No guilt, no shame, no curse, no chains
new life, You gave, Redeemer
My debt is paid, my soul now saved
oh God, You came, Redeemer.
Nothing affirms these truths better than Ephesians chapter 2:
"And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved." Ephesians 2:1-5
The challenge I often face is putting this into action. How?! I ask myself. Every day, this question pervades my thoughts, but I think the answer is much more simple than I make it out to be. Last week I was reading in Deuteronomy, and these verses struck me to the core:
"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates." Deuteronomy 6:5-9
God calls me to love the Lord my God with all my heart and with all my soul by reminding myself of his commandments daily. This daily endurance reminds me of a gardener: someone who waters slowly, not too much or the soil will erode. The water of God's word will sink slowly into our hearts as we drink of it daily. This will produces growth and good fruit! The answer to my burning question is to treat the word of God like food. It must nourish my soul, the souls of my wife and my children and the souls of those I encounter on a daily basis. And then, as if to clarify, and drive home this concept, a few verses down Moses writes:
“When your son asks you in time to come, ‘What is the meaning of the testimonies and the statutes and the rules that the Lord our God has commanded you?’ then you shall say to your son, ‘We were Pharaoh's slaves in Egypt. And the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand. Deuteronomy 6:20-21
The Lord has brought us out of Egypt! The Lord our God has released us from the bonds of sin and death through the blood of His son Jesus and calls us to remind ourselves daily of His victory over sin and death.