I love how every time you read the Bible - whether the parts you've read a million times, or the things that seem brand new (or are new-to-you) - the Spirit enables a fresh thought or message for life. Today as I was reading Leviticus 8 in the New Living Translation, a particular phrase jumped out at me as it was repeated over and over.
"...just as the LORD had commanded him."
Moses has heard all the Lord's instructions for the Tabernacle and the procedure for the offerings and priestly behaviour, and now his job is to anoint and ordinate Aaron and his sons for duty. As he fulfills each requirement he is careful and meticulous in his obedience.
I started to think about my life and it was as though the Holy Spirit bold-printed the phrase
"...just as the LORD had commanded him."in my Bible. How often am I that meticulously obedient? How often would the phrase more likely read:
"...pretty close to what the LORD commanded her."
"...kind of like what the LORD commanded her."
Have you begun to wonder if I put the wrong title to this post?
Something that has been rattling around in the parenting compartment of my brain - yes, even my brain is categorized and labelled - is about expectations. I have noticed in myself a tendency to expect more from my kids that I do of myself. Please don't be horrified, it's rather well-meaning if you think about it for a moment. I want my kids to avoid making mistakes they'll one day regret or having attitudes they will later have to fix. I want them to skip the part of life where they're unsure and doubting about their faith and move straight to the whole-hearted devotion part.
But as I realized again how far I've yet to grow in my obedience to the Lord, I was reminded again about the importance of the process. Perfection is not what makes Grace sweet - it's acknowledging the inability to be perfect that makes Grace such a precious commodity. The rules and laws of the Old Testament were put in place to remind God's people that they simply can't be good enough! ("for what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering..." Rom 8: 3)
So even though my 3 little blessings are unlikely to be able to do "just as Mom commanded them" all the time, I can show them grace - by lovingly correcting and guiding them - just as the Lord does with me.
In my mind, that's keeping it real as a parent.