Saturday, December 11, 2010

The War of the Socks

"Put your socks on." 

"I don't want to."

"I said put your socks on.  You get to wear your pajamas and house-shoes to school today for the Polar Express party, so you need to wear your socks in case you want to take off your shoes.  Your feet will stay warm and clean."

"I said I don't want to."

"I didn't ask what you want to do, I told you to put your socks on.  Do it now, or you will miss the party."

Sound familiar.  Possibly so.  But, it gets even better...

Finally, after crying dramatically while brushing teeth, getting two spankings, and stomping around the house saying, "I SAID I'M SORRY!" - finally, a truly apologetic five year old son came to me and had his socks on as he asked forgiveness for talking back and being bad.

I forgave---of course.

Then, I sent him to get his coat from the other side of the house.

I heard him calling me to come to him, and what did I find when I walked into the living room?

There he was, sitting there in the recliner with the most innocent look on his face and his legs crossed...socks laying ON THE FLOOR...putting his house-shoes back on...saying, "Mommy, can you call my teacher and ask her if it is okay if I come to school with no socks on?"


Where did that sweet, repentant, sincerely apologetic boy go?  Mind you, he was still being sweet...BUT, WHAT IS HE THINKING!?!  Oh, the nerve!

Fast forward a bit and a boy with socks on under his house-shoes finally got to school late after having very sincerely apologized again ("Mommy, I'm sorry for all of that trouble."). 

Knowing these are his last few days at this precious school he loves before changing mid-year to a new one very far away, this mother just could not force him to stay home from such a special day...rebellion or not.

All of this reminds me of how God loves His children - the Israelites of the Old Testament days as well as all of His children in all generations.  As I am reading through Isaiah, I see our Father repeatedly warning the Israelites of the dangers of not obeying Him and of seeking refuge in anyone other than their God.  He loves them and us so much, it truly angers Him to know His children will repeatedly rebel, disobey, and even scoff at Him and His words of love and protection for them. 

Yet---He still promises them renewal and refuge.  Hope and peace. 

In spite of their inevitable attempts at life without Him, He continually protects them and provides for them---and us.  Yes, punishment is often necessary as is purging and cleansing from the idols His children often welcome into their lives.  But, after the purging and cleansing, there is a promise of peace and rest.

See for yourself:

“Woe to the obstinate children,”
   declares the LORD,
“to those who carry out plans that are not mine,
   forming an alliance, but not by my Spirit,
   heaping sin upon sin;
who go down to Egypt
   without consulting me;
who look for help to Pharaoh’s protection,
   to Egypt’s shade for refuge.
 For these are rebellious people, deceitful children,
   children unwilling to listen to the LORD’s instruction.  

 “In repentance and rest is your salvation,
   in quietness and trust is your strength,
   but you would have none of it."

Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you;
   therefore he will rise up to show you compassion.
For the LORD is a God of justice.
   Blessed are all who wait for him!  Isaiah 30:1-2, 9, 15, 18

Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help,
   who rely on horses,
who trust in the multitude of their chariots
   and in the great strength of their horsemen,
but do not look to the Holy One of Israel,
   or seek help from the LORD. 

...the LORD Almighty will shield Jerusalem;
he will shield it and deliver it,
   he will ‘pass over’ it and will rescue it.” 
Return, you Israelites, to the One you have so greatly revolted against.  For in that day every one of you will reject the idols of silver and gold your sinful hands have made. Isaiah 31:1, 5-7

The LORD’s justice will dwell in the desert,
   his righteousness live in the fertile field.
The fruit of that righteousness will be peace;
   its effect will be quietness and confidence forever.
My people will live in peaceful dwelling places,
   in secure homes,
   in undisturbed places of rest.  Isaiah 32:16-18
In this season of the year in which we reflect on our lives - past, present, and future - consider what part(s) of your life you are trying to do on your own.

Are you struggling to get your own way?  To go barefoot instead of putting on your socks, as you know you should do? 

Quit being obstinate.  It's more strain on you, now and in the long run. 

"Return, you Israelites, to the One you have so greatly revolted against."

Return to Him and rest in Him.

Does this resonate with you?  If so, how?  I look forward to hearing your thoughts.  Oh, and sorry for the long absence from posting on my part ... life has been "happening" ... a lot!


Big Fat Mama said...

I'm at a place right now of resting and trusting in God and His perfect will. The verse I'm trying to live by is - God takes no delight in the strength of horses, no pleasure in the runner's stride. Rather the Lord takes pleasure in the devout, those who await his faithful care. Psalm 147:10,11

Melissa, Multi-Tasking Mama said...

Love the analogy of this story and the is so true that we just want our own way sometimes. I would have let him go to school too =)

Haelie said...

BFM - I love the verse you mentioned. I, too, am at that place - no matter how difficult my life may be at times.

Melissa - Thanks so much for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. So glad you related to this. Glad to hear I'm not the only sucker of a mama, too! ;-)

Bekah said...

Its so hard sometimes, to return when we know we are being obstinate. I'm very prone to be the younger brother in Jesus' parable. To demand what I feel is mine, and go off to do it my own way, only to drag myself, broken, back to the father.

Bekah said...

I think I was supposed to mention that I came from the link up on Gypsy Mama, but I got so into the post that I forgot! Sorry!

Haelie said...

Bekah - same here about being the one demanding my way but coming back broken and wanting Him. :o) Oh, and LOL about your second comment! ;-)

Marci said...

Just hopping over from Gather Inspirit. I have this same kind of battle with my little man...daily! I guess I'm just as guilty of wanting my own way from time to time. I'm so thankful for a merciful, loving, forgiving God!

Haelie said...

Hey, Marci! Thanks for stopping by! Yes, we are all a bit guilty of trying to force our way no matter what is best for us. I too am thankful that God knows and understands that about us and chooses to show us grace anyway. :o)

misterp said...

The Sad thing we see about the children of Israel is that even when God gave them all they needed to be powerful when they followed Him. They continued to turn against him, even to the point that they got boastful and aragant that they thought they were doing everything themselves and not giving the credit to God. So the main thing we need to remember is. It is our awesome and wonderful God who helps us and gives us (all things) to equip us with to do the things we do. For with Him we can do anything, and without him we ended up doomed. your friend misterp.

Haelie said...

Yes, MisterP, we can too often be as stubborn and even ignorant as the Israelites often were. So thankful for His grace!