It was chili night at the Majeskis and, in typical fashion, the kids' eyes were first drawn to the pure carbohydrate joy of their corn muffins doused in honey.
"No, sweetheart I want you to eat your chili first, then you can have the corn muffin."
This (or something real close) is a common commandment at dinner. One thousand one hundred and thirty seven times prior (approximately) I had reminded the children of this important command and it was about to drive me slightly nuts to do it the 1138th time. That is until I considered the thousands of reminders I have received from my Daddy - reminders much more important and more often ignored.
We finished thanking God for our chili and Whitney (our youngest), began to position her golden prize so it was immediately accessible (whether pre- or post- chili consumption I can't say). At this point Whitney's older brother Maclean, reminded his sister "Whitney, you're not supposed to eat that until you are done with your chili." The squabbling got under my skin and I was just about to launch into the Mac-don't-tattle-just-let-dad-be-dad speech when the Holy Spirit stopped me.
"He is correcting her, so that you will see what you keep missing; he is making the right choice."
Out of shear grace, I turned to that beautiful little boy and said, "Mac, I want you to know that I have seen that you have made a good choice and obeyed daddy. That pleases God buddy." I wasn't prepared for what happened next. Mac literally exploded into a cathartic eruption of laughter and tears. The family was moved and I was deeply convicted. Mac was wound tightly around a simple question, namely, "Does anybody see my right choice?" He was suffering under the tension of that question until the Spirit prompted his dad to answer it.
It was one of the most bittersweet moments I have experienced as a dad. What a joy to see his soul released from that tension! What a burden to see that I had heaped that tension on his little shoulders!
For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do. (Hebrews 6.10)The author of Hebrews is telling us that it would be unjust of God to overlook the love people have shown for his name and it is unjust if we overlook it as well. Who is looking to you with that question; "Do they see my right choice, do they notice me at all?" It is unjust for you to miss it. A good leader, parent, spouse, and friend intentionally looks for moments to celebrate. Look for them and speak words of encouragement. Don't contribute to a pressure to look for answers in sinful ways.
And if you are tempted to believe that there are no grounds for encouragement consider this idea from C.J. Mahaney:
If Paul can say this:
I give thanks to my God always for you because of the grace of God that was given you in Christ Jesus (1 Corinthians 1.4)To these guys:
It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that is not tolerated even among pagans, for a man has his father’s wife. (1 Corinthians 5.1)We have no excuse to miss the evidences of grace in the people we lead.
You give up a lot, don't give it up for the sake of giving it up.
Shakespeare, suns and a father's weight
Disappointment and the plan of God in a 5 yr-old